What are the Different Types of Anorexia Therapy?

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  • Written By: K. K. Lowen
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 28 February 2020
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Anorexia nervosa is a serious, sometimes fatal, eating disorder in which a person deprives himself or herself of food because of a psychological condition. There are many types of anorexia treatments. The objective for any anorexia therapy is to rehabilitate a person physically, psychologically, or both. Physical therapy incorporates methods to help a person regain and maintain a healthy body weight. Psychological therapy includes techniques designed to aid in healing the mental afflictions that cause anorexia.

People who suffer from anorexia may lose extreme amounts of weight and, as a result of this drastic weight loss, experience various ailments. Entering a hospital for treatment may be an appropriate course of action for some with anorexia nervosa. The hospital staff will likely perform a complete analysis of the anorexic patient and assess how to help him or her regain the physical strength needed to begin other therapies.

A person suffering from anorexia nervosa may wish to utilize the services offered by an eating disorder treatment center. Anorexia clinics usually provide both physical and psychological treatments. The centers and clinics often employ physicians for medical support, a psychologist or psychotherapist for group and individual therapy sessions, and a dietitian for nutritional planning.


Family therapy is an increasingly popular form of anorexia therapy that involves some or all family members. The anorexic patient and other family members, most commonly the parents, may receive simultaneous attention from a trained psychological professional. Another process involves the patient and family members undergoing separate therapy sessions. The psychological issues that cause anorexia may correlate with childhood traumas or relationships with family members, so family therapy is often an effective treatment.

Another approach for anorexia therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy consists of techniques relating to the identification of personal behaviors and the procedures necessary to change these behaviors. It may be helpful for some people with anorexia to talk about their disease, whether in an individual or group setting. Utilizing the techniques provided by a cognitive behavioral therapist may help patients analyze their own feelings and actions. The self-analysis can be essential to a successful anorexia recovery, because it may help anorexic patients recognize and accept their problems.

Some people who suffer from anorexia nervosa may decide to pursue alternative methods to help their conditions. Patients may use unconventional approaches in conjunction with traditional anorexia therapy or choose to use the nontraditional techniques exclusively. Alternative eating disorder treatments may include activities such as massage, meditation, acupuncture, yoga, and aromatherapy.


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