Compare different types of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and gestalt therapy for eating disorders
Behavioural therapy assumes that mental disturbances are really learnt but aimless
behaviours. This is based on research and theory in learning psychology.
therapy studies how people think and how they interpret their experiences. It
tries to help people think in a way which is more porposeful and less liable to
cause mental illness.
Gestalt therapy (invented by Fritz/Frederic Perls) tries to help the patient to be more
aware of oneself and the inner world. By more clearly experiencing what one wants,
feels and perceives, the patient will be able to be assertive in relation to the
Below follows a comparison of treatment with two types of psychotherapy,
cognitive-behavioral therapy and gestalt therapy in eating disorders. In reality
the differences is not as greatas it appears in the table. Skilful eating disorder
therapists often use a combination of cognitive therapy, behavioural therapy,
gestalt therapy and other therapy methods.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
three to five times a day.
Eating when physically hungry
and stopping when satisfied.
and later stopping compensatory behavior e.g. vomiting.
Increasing awareness of the experiences which lead to vomiting. Learning to endure
unpleasant feelings in order to attain life's objectives e.g. freedom from eating
Investigating and changing
wrong conceptions about food, slimming and appearance.
Find out what the grown-up personality thinks is right in the case of slimming
Learning to see the
connection between personal difficulties and wrong eating habits.
Experiencing and becoming aware of how anxiety and stress lead to a need to alleviate
mental pain by using food as a drug. Getting help to become curious about one's
own feelings and wanting to investigate them.
Identifying problems and finding alternatives.
problems and finding alternatives chosen by the individual.
Learning that selfesteem consists of more than just the figure.
Knowing oneself concerning feelings, intentions and physical impressions which
lead to greater self-esteem.