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Holistic Therapy in eating disorder treatment considers wellness of the whole person – mind, body and spirit. It is an integrative, multi-disciplinary approach to wellness and many treatment modalities are used. This approach is particular effective when treatment patients who have suffered physical or emotional trauma.
Psychological therapy may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). CBT is a common form of psychotherapy that focuses on helping people learn how changing their thoughts and beliefs can change their feelings and behaviors. DBT is a specific form of CBT, which emphasizes how a person interacts with others in different relationships and environments. Through therapy, patients learn emotion regulation, mindfulness and acceptance skills. DBT is usually done in a supportive group environment.
Other methods of holistic treatment include acupuncture, neuro-feedback, expressive arts therapy, yoga and fitness, equine therapy and adventure-based therapy. Nutritional counseling and education on body systems helps patients understand the impact of their behaviors on their body, them understand their current health and aids them in making healthy choices in the future. In addition, adventure therapy, equine therapy, and EMDR are important therapies used in treatment.
One of the most important things to note is eating disorder are complicated. There is a stabilization period. This means stabilizing physically, mentally, emotionally, and nutritionally. One person cannot do this – it takes a team AND it is imperative this team is working together. It is only after stabilizing that the work begins – it deepens. The heavy lifting starts both for the client and practitioners. And finally, practicing managing stressors and risk and balancing recovery – again it takes a team. It is true after the person is on solid footing they can drop down at this point; however, it is likely they may still see a psychiatrist, therapist and registered dietitian for a period of time for maintenance.