Enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT-E) is a treatment that is effective for all types of eating disorders and is regarded as the first-line treatment for adults with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Additionally, CBT-E has been used with good results in early studies of adolescents with eating disorders and may be useful for adults with anorexia nervosa.
This treatment aims to correct inaccurate thinking around eating, body weight and shape, and self-worth in order to eliminate eating disorder symptoms. Goals also include eliminating binge eating and purging through normalizing eating and re-introducing “forbidden foods” to reduce fears around eating. CBT is short-term for bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder (approximately 20 sessions over 4-6 months) and is goal-oriented. CBT is longer for anorexia nervosa. Enhanced CBT involves a more in-depth examination of perfectionism, low self-esteem and interpersonal difficulties.