Using Your DBT Skills to Combat Eating Disorders


DBT was originally created in order to help people who were struggling with suicidal or self-harming behaviors. However, it now tends to be a vital element for helping to combat bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders. This type of therapy is one that uses evidence-based beliefs that any self-destructive and/or impulsive behaviors can take over a person’s life when they’re not able to manage their strong emotions. By combining DBT skills along with CBT, you are blending together different acceptance strategies along with meditation techniques and DBT skills which helps to build a very solid therapeutic relationship between the therapist and patient.

Good Combination

Combining these different therapies improve the effectiveness of emotional regulation along with their distress tolerance levels because DBT skills help those with eating disorder issue and their symptoms to either lessen and often times stops altogether. By using DBT skills it will often help stop these disorders from becoming chronic diseases.

Emotional Dysregulation and Bulimia Nervosa

Anorexia, binge eting, and bulimia eating disorder treatment centers help to provide patients with an enviornment that is safe and curative. It allows those who have eating problems to feel free to express their negative feelings and/or emotions and then lets them address feelings of anxiety that they might be feeling as well.

This type of therapy helps people who are having difficulty in coping and understanding the sometimes disturbing feelings and thoughts that they might be having. Often when their emotions feel extremely overwhelming and too painful for them to acknowledge they may often resort to more self-destructive behavior in order to try to alleviate the pain they are feeling. Often they will deny themselves food, purge after they eat or binge eat to try and mask the pain they are feeling deep down.

DBT skills employs a variety of diffed skilled techniques and one key technique is “distress tolerance”. Those who are DBT counselors help their patients by teaching them to use various novel ways of getting through a crises without making their situation even worse. Instead of letting their irrational emotions get in the way of letting them effectively navigating their anxiety-causing circumstances, they will learn how to cope with these intense feelings. Distress tolerance helps them to learn how to simply accept the reality for what it really is so they can move forward instead of falling back on their harmful and old behaviors.

Eating Disorder Causes and DBT Skills

Many people with eating disorders will often want to know why it is they seem to be in the grip of their disorder. DBT skills helps them to explore the roots of their eating disorders and it’s an essential part of therapy for the patients who are already in an eating disorder therapy program.

One of the components of DBT skills is interpersonal effectiveness and it’s something that delves into the different difficulties that some people might have when trying to communicate with other people. For instance, patients with an eating disorder might experience some sort of difficulty in saying no, or asserting themselves, or even end up putting their own needs before the needs of other people.

Common Theme Associated With Many Eating Disorders

With bulimia one of the most common types of themes can involve a person fearing being disliked by others. Another fear is the fear of being abandoned or rejected. Many patients with eating disorders seem to come from families that are dysfunctional and they ended up feeling unwanted or unloved. With DBT skills, patients will learn that by feeling pushed to the side, invalid, or feeling they are being taken for granted, that they are at a high risk of having negative emotions that cause them to engage in their self-destructive/self-harming behaviors. Through interpersonal effectiveness training with DBT skills will teach patients how they can communicate better and be more assertive with other people.

DBT Skills Helps to Reduce Bulimia Symptoms

Research has shown that when DBT skills are added to any type of binge eating therapy programs it becomes a vital part in helping patients avoid any long-term health problems that can be attributed to vomiting, malnutrition, and overeating.

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