Treatment of eating disorders is one of my specialties. My dissertation focused on eating disorders from a cross-cultural perspective. During this research I worked with numerous hospitals and learned about different treatment models effective for Anorexia and Bulimia.
In my professional perspective, the treatment is aimed to teach patients to recognize the body's natural need for nutrition and to regulate food intake. Often, patients with eating disorders wrongly relate to food as their enemy and deny hunger. In the case of bulimia and over eating they use food as an only method of self-soothing. Treatment is aimed at restoring natural feeling of hunger and regulating normal food intake. This goal is achieved by helping patients connect with their true feelings and manage them satisfactorily, e.g. those who feel lonely can do something to avoid loneliness instead of letting it lead to excessive eating.
According to research, the most effective method of treating patients with eating disorders is based on a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and antidepressant medication. Therefore the initial phase of treatment should focus on symptoms reduction, and the next phase of treatment will focus on developing self awareness into the internal causes of the symptoms. For that, the use of psychodynamic perspective may help patients separate and individuate from internalized and distorted self perception.
A patient who has suffered from an eating disorder but has gone through a successful therapy eats only when physically hungry and stops when physically satisfied. This person is curious about real feelings and wants to investigate them instead of anaesthetizing them by overeating or starvation.
- Academy for Eating Disorders (www.aedweb.org)
- National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders (www.anad.org)
- National Eating Disorders Association (www.edap.org)
- American Anorexia/Bulimia Association (www.aabainc.org)
- Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders (www.anred.com)
- National Institute of Mental Health (www.nimh.nih.gov)
- Eating Disorder Resources (www.drugrehab.com/eating-disorders)
- Benefits of Nutrition During Recovery (www.drugrehab.com/guides/nutrition)
Noga Niv, PhD
Palo Alto, Ca. 94301