Why Other Therapies Do Not Work
Traditional therapies tend to tackle one aspect of the numerous issues which lead to eating disorders, but are not all-encompassing.
Cognitive behavioural therapy tells the sufferer to take one day at a time and “manage” their issue – With tips to prevent their destructive behaviour. This focuses on the symptoms of the eating disorder, but not the root cause.
Psychotherapy or counselling takes the opposite approach and attempts to address all the emotional issues which might be at the route of the eating disorder, by asking the sufferer to evaluate their life and recount traumatic past experiences.
Because the emphasis of counselling is on “counting your worries”, it can even mean that the sufferer becomes more depressed as a result and their eating disorder worsens.
In the experience of many sufferers, (including Tasha at Winning Minds), the NHS will either fail to properly diagnose an eating disorder (particularly bulimia, because sufferers tend to be a normal weight) or, if they do recognise it, they will prescribe one of the therapies above, which tend to prove unhelpful, for the reasons stated.
It is worth mentioning that the NHS weight charts, which are used to ascertain whether a patient has a healthy “BMI”, tend to allow for a patient to be considerably underweight by any other standard and yet still be deemed “healthy”.
Not all anorexics weight 5 stone and, as mentioned, bulimics can often be within a healthy weight range. At this point in time, it is the experience of many eating disorder sufferers that they are only taken seriously by the NHS if they fall into the “underweight” catagory on their weight charts, and it is not at all clear what these charts are based on.