Jane L. Cobb, LCSW, BCD Choosing a TherapistOffice Location 3724 Jefferson St., Suite 206, Austin, TX 78731,  (512) 323-0021 How do I know if I could benefite from therapy?Eating Disorders Couples Counseling About Jane Cobb Upcoming and Recent Events Current Groups
 

EATING DISORDERS AND THEIR TREATMENT

Q: I've had an eating disorder for a few years now. I've tried to stop it, but I can't. Is there any hope for me?
A: Yes. Just by coming to this web page, you have taken an important first step. The next thing is to seek help. To recover from an eating disorder takes strong motivation and usually requires outside assistance, support, and guidance. A caring, capable professional can make a tremendous difference in your ability to recover. And the sooner you decide to pursue help, the sooner you will begin to see results.

Q: What kind of treatment do you, Jane Cobb, LCSW, offer for eating disorders?
A: I offer individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy.


ABOUT EATING DISORDERS

Q: What is an eating disorder?

A: An eating disorder is a diagnosable illness that involves disturbed eating patterns, and often, a distorted body image. The most common types of eating disorders are anorexia (anorexia nervosa), bulimia, and binge eating disorder.

Q: What is anorexia?
A:
Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by extreme restriction of food intake. It is a form of self-starvation that results in excessive weight loss and cessation of menstrual periods in females. The person with anorexia is terrified of gaining weight. This illness can cause major medical complications and, if untreated, can be fatal.

Q: What is bulimia?
A: Bulimia is characterized by episodes of binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting or use of laxatives. During a binge, a large amount of food is consumed in a relatively short period of time. The amount of food eaten in one of these episodes is much greater than what most people would consume. The binge is followed by a purge (vomiting or laxative use) in attempts to prevent weight gain. Bulimia can be life-threatening.

Q: What is binge eating disorder?
A: Binge eating disorder, or BED, is an eating disorder that involves eating large quantities of food without purging or using compensatory measures such as self-induced vomiting or laxatives.


TREATMENT FOR EATING DISORDERS

Q: What kind of treatment is recommended for eating disorders?
A: The best approach is treatment which addresses emotional issues as well as nutritional and medical concerns. Eating disorders are not just about food. Self-esteem, body-image issues, family expectations and roles, and societal pressures all play a part in the disorder. Thus, effective treatment must take all these factors into consideration.
      Research has shown that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is helpful in treating bulimia and binge eating disorder. This form of treatment focuses on replacing self-critical or damaging thinking patterns with healthier thoughts and behaviors. Learning new coping skills, such as assertiveness, use of a journal or calling a friend for support instead of bingeing may be some of the behavioral changes a person would make in this form of treatment.
      Interpersonal therapy has also shown positive results in the treatment of eating disorders. This form of therapy is aimed at examining and improving a person's relationship skills. Issues such as loss, dealing with conflict, loneliness, and life transitions may be addressed.
      Additional forms of treatment that have been shown to be effective include group therapy (especially for bulimia), family therapy, and medication. Sometimes what works best is a combination of a few types of treatment, such as individual treatment, plus group, plus medication.

HELPFUL WEBSITES:

National Eating Disorders Association
http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

Something Fishy: Website on Eating Disorders
http://www.something-fishy.org

Mirror-Mirror
http://www.mirror-mirror.org/eatdis.htm

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
http://www.anad.org

 



Jane L. Cobb, LCSW, BCD    3724 Jefferson Street, Suite 206    Austin, Texas 78731   (512) 636-3629
 

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