Eating Disorder TreatmentOrange County, California, Eating Disorder Treatment ProgramEating DisorderEating DisorderRebecca's House, Eating Disorders Treatment Programs

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in Eating Disorder Treatment

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is based on the theory that emotions, behaviors and thoughts are all connected. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is known as the treatment of choice for clients with bulimia, anorexia, binge eating, compulsive overeating, obesity and disordered eating. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps the client control symptoms and to manage anxiety, impulses and negative emotions. People with eating disorders tend to hold a negative distorted view of themselves, have extensive negative self talk, and often express thoughts that are highly critical about their body and themselves. The resulting feelings of anxiety, disgust, shame, hopelessness and self-hatred lead the client to seek relief by using the eating disorder behaviors or thoughts of the disorder to avoid these feelings.

The more the patient can challenge and eventually change their obsessive self-critical thoughts the easier it is to recover from an eating disorder. During Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, clients learn to tolerate a negative emotion, solve problems, manage stress and become more aware of themselves. The cognitive-behavioral skills training helps the clients gain a thorough understanding of themselves and their eating disorder, so they can change and recover. These tools repeated over time become healthy ways of coping

Rebecca Cooper, the Founder of Rebecca’s House, developed a structured step-by-step effective method that has been refined over time and is backed with empirical based evidence.  The program is based on cognitive-behavioral and solution focused theories.  These sessions are part of the daily program schedules used at Rebecca’s House Eating Disorder Treatment Programs™. Today many therapists and eating disorder treatment programs are now using her program. The system is designed to bring awareness to the client and provide tools to use instead of using the eating disorder. The sessions teach the client how to:

  • identify feelings and triggers for the eating disorder behaviors
  • identify negative thoughts and find individual solutions for these thoughts 
  • become their own best friend
  • identify and change negative self-talk
  • create a more healthy self image
  • increase self-esteem and self-love
  • motivate themselves for change
  • improve interacting with others
  • control emotions
  • imagine a life healthy and fit without the eating disorder
  • create a life of meaning and purpose
There are corresponding guided imageries and homework assignments for each session. The Guided imagery groups reinforce the ideas presented in the previous cognitive-behavioral group, and the homework assignments help the client to become aware of their individual triggers and solutions.