For almost everyone dealing with binge eating disorder (BED), treatment is necessary for recovery. A variety of treatment approaches, interventions, levels of care, and types of clinicians are available to treat binge eating disorder.
Binge eating disorder is most commonly treated in an outpatient setting, but residential programs can be powerful tools for those needing extra support and intervention. Both outpatient and residential programs offer a variety of underlying philosophies of treatment. Therapists who treat binge eating disorder may also work privately and coordinate care with other specialists.
While the specific combination of services may vary for each individual, binge eating disorder treatment options can include the following:
- “Level of care” assessment and treatment planning
- Individual psychotherapy
- Support or therapy groups
- Family/couples therapy
- Family member support/education
- Specialized nutrition counseling
- Medical/psychiatric support and medication management as needed
Some outpatient and residential programs may also offer complementary and alternative interventions, such as:
- Movement classes
- Meditation/Mindfulness instruction
- Art therapies, psychodrama
- Equine therapy
Treatment providers must also be trained to perform psychotherapy, be able to use evidence-based tools as a component of their treatment plan, and, if applicable, be trained in the neurology of trauma and appropriate trauma resolution interventions.
Evidence-based treatment modalities—meaning those currently studied and with research outcomes—include cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness based interventions, Internal Family Systems therapy, and psychodynamic psychotherapy. Other modalities are available and may be effective, but they may not as yet be thoroughly researched.