Do I have to be weighed?
This varies depending on your diagnosis and type of therapy you are engaged in. With Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) for bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder you are not usually weighed unless there is a clinical need to do so however in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBT) regular weighing will be a key feature of your treatment. People with anorexia nervosa would be weighed each week at the beginning of their session.
Once weight stabilises within a normal range the frequency of weighing may be reduced. It is understood that being weighed is likely to be anxiety provoking, therapists are experienced in offering support to manage that anxiety. Knowing what your weight is helps you to understand the true relationship between your eating and weight which is crucial to overcoming your eating disorder.
Can my family or friends be involved in my treatment?
Getting better from an eating disorder is a highly personal experience. But having the support of your friends, families and carers can be a great benefit. Whilst they may not be involved directly in your treatment sometimes we may feel that it might be helpful to meet with them but this would be discussed with you and would not take place without your agreement.
If you feel that you would like your family and friends, or an advocate to be involved in some way then you should raise this with your clinician who can then discuss with you how this can best be achieved.
There is a local carers group which is run by carers at the Bennion Centre. The group meets monthly and provides space for mutual support. The Leicestershire Adult Eating Disorder Service provides input into this group when requested.Further details can be found at their website.
The service has produced an information pack for friends, families and carers which can be accessed via the carers section of this website If a paper copy of the pack is preferred this can be accessed by ringing the service on 0116 225 2557. We would encourage you to tell your friends, family or carers about this resource.
How long will my treatment take?
This varies depending on your diagnosis and type of therapy you are engaged in. Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) for bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder takes 12-16 sessions. IPT for anorexia is over a longer time period, usually between 12 to 18 months. Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBT) provides 20 sessions for people with bulimic and similar eating disorders and 40 sessions for people with anorexia nervosa.
People with anorexia nervosa or other eating disorders at low body weight may be offered Psychodynamically Informed Therapy for Anorexia (PITA). To begin with people are seen weekly for three months to set treatment goals and see whether or not the treatment is helpful. They will then have a review and may either continue with the same therapy or consider other options if PITA is not helping them to make changes. In general the treatment lasts between six months and two years but occasionally some people may be in therapy for longer than this.
Does this treatment work?
There is a good body of evidence that shows that Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) does work for the treatment of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. The IPT model originally developed for the treatment of bulimia was slower to work than Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBT) but achieved the same results after 6 months. The IPT model we use has been further developed to make it work faster and still achieve the same outcomes.
The leading evidence-based treatment for adults with an eating disorder is a specific form of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. It was developed by Professor Christopher Fairburn as a treatment for bulimia nervosa and in this form it has been the subject of numerous clinical trials. In the early 2000’s the treatment was modified to make it suitable for all forms of eating disorder. The resulting treatment, known as enhanced CBT or CBT-E, has been tested across the full range of eating disorders in international studies. These suggest that about three quarters of people who complete treatment make a full recovery and this recovery appears to be well-maintained. Of the remaining people many have also shown improvement. The results are similar for people who are substantially underweight when treatment is completed.
Psychodynamically Informed Therapy for Anorexia (PITA) has been developed as a result of clinical experience and in accordance with treatment interventions recommended in the NICE guidance for eating disorders. It uses behavioural and psychodynamic techniques which have been shown to be helpful for people with anorexia type disorders.
Will my therapy sessions be audio-recorded?
On occasion some therapists undergoing training will audio record their sessions this is good practice and is to ensure you are receiving the best treatment possible. This information is securely stored and will be deleted at the end of therapy. You will always be asked to give your consent before your sessions are taped.
If your therapy is part of a research project your therapist may need to audio record your sessions. This information is securely stored and treated confidentially. You will always be asked to give your consent before you take part in a research project or before your sessions are taped.