How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Can Help With Your Eating Disorder

Plate with HELP spelled out in letter blocks representing an eating disorder

Eating disorders cause problems with your digestion, skin, hair, and teeth. However, the root cause of your eating disorder can be found, not in your belly, but in your brain. Eating disorders stem from complex mental health problems. In order to successfully heal from your eating disorder, it’s time to unpack the mental and emotional distress that can cause you to have a dysfunctional relationship with food, nourishment, and your body image.

At Nugent Family Counseling Center, our compassionate and experienced care team can guide you through the process of recovering from an eating disorder. One of our best tools to resolve your underlying problem is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Here’s what you need to know about how this type of therapy can help you repair your self-esteem and restore you to truly healthy eating habits.

What is DBT?

The narratives we construct around our lives, histories, and identities can have a powerful impact on how we behave. With DBT, you undergo a process of learning more about your reactions to distressing situations and working on concretely changing your responses for the better.

The “dialectical” part of the treatment name indicates that this therapy is about balancing acceptance of your situation with your potential and motivation for change. If you’ve tried cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for your eating disorder without effective results, DBT may be better suited to your needs. DBT 

How can DBT help with eating disorders?

DBT shows promise for the treatment of disordered behavior of self-harm in order to relieve negative emotions. For many people with eating disorders, food or food deprivation can function as this type of self-harm.

DBT is most likely to be helpful for you if you struggle with a binge eating disorder or if you have bulimia nervosa. Through DBT, you can untangle the emotional distress that drives your eating disorder, and move toward healthy change without unhealthy self-judgment. You can learn to identify emotional triggers for binging, purging, or food restriction behaviors, and strategize on better responses to negative or stressful feelings.

DBT discourages “all-or-nothing” thinking, helpful with a chronic problem like an eating disorder, where your success may vary from day to day. The team at Nugent Family Counseling Center often recommends DBT for patients with eating disorders as part of an integrative treatment plan that may also include neurofeedback and other treatment options.

For real relief in your struggle with your eating disorder, turn to the providers at Nugent Family Counseling Center. Whether you could see improvement with CBT, DBT, or other treatment methods, our team of counselors can help you find the right path to a healthier mind, healthier emotions, and a healthier body.

Take the first steps toward healing from your eating disorder this New Year, and schedule a consultation with the compassionate providers at Nugent Family Counseling Center today. You can book your appointment online, or give us a call at our offices in San Jose, California, Los Gatos, California, and Reno, Nevada.