Enhanced Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT-E) is an evidence-based treatment for adults and adolescents with a range of eating issues including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating.
CBT-E generally involves an initial assessment appointment followed by 50-minute treatment sessions over 20-40 weeks. Initially, sessions are recommended to occur two times per week (for the first 4 weeks) in order to support the individual in disrupting challenging patterns and habits.
CBT-E is a highly individualized treatment. It is collaborative and focused on supporting the client, while also helping the client start to change the patterns of behavior necessary to overcome their eating disorder.
CBT-E is a treatment that is focused on the present and helping you move forward towards the life you want to live. It also requires work in between sessions. CBT-E is a time-limited treatment aimed at helping the individual develop their own tools so that they can continue to make progress and face challenges on their own, after treatment ends.
CBT-E has four stages:
- First, the focus is on gaining a mutual understanding of the person's eating problem, providing information about eating problems and weight, and helping him or her modify and stabilize their pattern of eating.
- Next, progress is systematically reviewed and the treatment plan is refined.
- In the third stage, we focus on the processes that are maintaining the person's eating problem. Usually this involves addressing concerns about shape and eating, enhancing the ability to deal with day-to-day events and moods without resorting to disordered eating behaviors, and addressing dietary restraint.
- In the final stage, we shift our focus to the future: how to deal with potential setbacks and maintaining the changes that the person has achieved.