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Eating Disorders Online Therapy

Goda Brzozauskaite
  • Apr 14, 2022
  • 5 min read
a young Caucasian woman devouring some food

Do you find yourself obsessing over food, worrying about your weight, or feeling as though you have lost control of your life? If you answered yes, then you may be dealing with an eating disorder. 

Eating disorders can affect anyone. You are not alone if you have one. 

So, if you are struggling, you must seek help. There are several treatment methods available so that you can get back to your best self. 

There are a few different types of eating disorders: bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. All of these are considered to be psychological disorders that present physical symptoms. 

Therapy can help find and treat the underlying psychological difficulties that cause the physical symptoms of an eating disorder. It is a powerful part of any course of treatment. 

When left untreated, eating disorders can result in severe health complications. Today we have a much better understanding of eating disorders and have developed more effective treatment methods to aid people in their recovery.

Online therapy for eating disorders is a relatively recent innovation (although therapy has been used in treatments for many years). It makes accessing many of the most well-known and reputable types of therapy easier.

How Does Eating Disorders Online Therapy Work?

Finding online therapy to aid in your recovery doesn’t have to be difficult. Most therapy platforms offer fast and hassle-free access to therapy. 

Step 1

Fill in a questionnaire about your situation and mental health struggles. 

Step 2

You will be connected instantly with the best therapist for you.

The answers to your questionnaire assist in finding the most suitable therapist. Treatment will depend on your symptoms, your disorder, and your preferences. Our online therapists will work with you to find the most successful course of treatment for you.

Step 3

Once you connect with a therapist, you can communicate daily.

You can typically expect one or more responses from your therapist every day. This type of therapy offers a more flexible approach to dealing with eating disorders.

Try to remember that online therapy is not a cure – it can’t completely solve all of your problems at once. But it can help put you on the road to recovery so that you can continue to live a healthier and happier life.

Step 4

Start seeing what online counseling can do for you.  

You’ll learn to manage your symptoms, maintain your mental health, and move towards a more healthy weight with the organized approach in therapy.

Online therapy for eating disorders provides strategies you need to handle your condition in your everyday life. 

With online therapy, you will be able to:

  • Build healthier eating habits
  • Understand how your emotions affect your eating
  • Learn coping mechanisms for stressful situations
  • Improve your problem-solving skills
  • Develop your relationships
  • Reach a healthier weight
  • Feel better

And that’s not all. Therapy is an incredibly personal process. The benefits of your eating disorder therapy sessions will reflect your aims and values – because that is the center of your journey.

Gabrielle Bernstein on TEDx made an interesting speech about eating disorders:

What Are Online Eating Disorder Therapies?

There are several effective types of therapy for treating eating disorders. 

No one approach is better than another. Everyone is different. What works best for one person may not be the most suitable form of therapy for another.

Remember, you can always try a few different therapies until you find the one that works for you. There is no pressure to know what you need straight away, and it’s okay to take your time finding an eating disorder therapy that matches you.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is used to help individuals identify and learn how to cope with their eating disorders. It can also help with other difficulties in your life. 

In CBT, you will learn to challenge your thoughts and beliefs around food, weight, and appearance. You will learn to move away from negative thinking during therapy sessions so that you can maintain more positive emotions and coping strategies.

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)

DBT has developed from CBT. It focuses on both the psychological and social factors that influence eating disorders.

DBT aspires to build mindfulness, interpersonal skills, emotional communication, and coping mechanisms. These are all essential for a successful recovery from eating disorders.

Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT)

IPT centers on improving patient relationships. 

It is particularly useful if you are looking to work through grief, ease a transitional period, or solve relationship problems or disputes. IPT can also assist with feelings of isolation, especially if you feel like you lack meaningful relationships.

Eating disorders can be triggered or worsened because of difficulties in other areas of our lives, including those listed above. IPT helps you address the roots of an eating disorder so that you can be happier and healthier.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)

ACT concentrates on adapting actions rather than seeking to change thoughts or feelings about eating disorders.

It challenges the patient to accept the way they feel and to act in ways that better align with their values. You’ll learn to accept even more negative thoughts about food and weight while you commit to making the changes you need to make.

Cognitive remediation therapy (CRT)

Cognitive remediation therapy focuses on big-picture thinking.

It helps to alter the rigid thought patterns of eating disorders like anorexia nervosa. Some exercises used in CRT to reframe thinking include needing to repeatedly switch attention between two topics or brainstorming alternative ways to use everyday objects.

Cognitive processing therapy (CPT)

CPT focuses on traumatic life events. 

Eating disorders can be triggered or aggravated by traumatic events. CPT deals with features of eating disorders, including impulsive behaviors and dissociation.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy

Psychodynamic psychotherapy aims to discover the roots and causes of eating disorders. Particularly it attempts to uncover unmet wants and needs so you can work towards fulfilling these.

Family therapy

Family therapy involves family members in treatment. It encourages them to support the patient in their recovery. 

Family therapy can also assist in resolving family conflicts that negatively affect the patient’s ability to make progress in their eating disorder recovery.

Is Online Eating Disorder Therapy Effective?

Online therapy could certainly help you if you are dealing with an eating disorder. There are many ways to aid in the recovery of eating disorders since they represent a way of coping with personal control and identity issues.

Some therapies have also shown greater efficacy in treating particular eating disorders. 

Evidence supports the use of therapy in successfully treating patients with eating disorders. It suggests that no one type of therapy is most effective for treating anorexia. Although, family behavioral therapy is perhaps the most well-established route for assisting children and adolescents in dealing with eating disorders. CPT and IPT are among the best-verified modes of treatment for bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders

Just remember there is no one right way to approach an eating disorder. Try to be patient while you and your therapist find the therapy that fits you. Therapy is a very personal journey. Your personal preferences should always guide your choices of online therapy.

Alternative Treatment Options

Therapy is not the only treatment option when it comes to eating disorders. If you have tried in-person or online therapy previously and found it ineffective long-term, then it may be time to consider alternatives. 

Intensive outpatient or outpatient

Outpatient treatments involve the patient returning home after each session. This type of therapy is best for people who don’t need daily monitoring for eating disorders and those who function well in their everyday lives. 

Outpatient care can vary greatly depending on the needs of the patient. It can involve as few as two sessions a week to a much more intensive course. 


Residential is usually recommended for patients suffering from more severe symptoms, requiring more consistent care, and those in need of around-the-clock monitoring.

These temporary live-in facilities are best if you struggle to make progress or sustain your recovery alone. The time a person will spend living in a residential facility will vary depending on the severity of the eating disorder and the facility itself.

Nutrition therapy 

Nutrition therapy is run by professionals with a profound understanding of food and nutrition. It is used most often in conjunction with other types of psychotherapy.

It aims to establish and meet patient goals, such as correcting blood sugar levels. It also promotes a healthier relationship with food, both physically and mentally, and often helps people establish a routine they can continue to follow.

Bottom Line

Are you looking at online therapy for eating disorders? Then there’s some good news – you’re already taking the first step towards your recovery.

Many different types of therapy available show effectiveness in aiding recovery. Choose the therapy option that best suits your disorder and personality. There are no right or wrong answers. And if you feel like one form of therapy isn’t working, you can always try another.

Eating disorder therapy should be available for everyone, no matter who or where you are. Online counseling is a step towards accessible therapy for all. If you are willing to try online therapy, you should try DoMental.

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