Eating Disorder Therapy
in London & Online
Eating disorders involve difficulties around eating habits which can include restricting how much food is eaten, following strict rules, binge eating, being preoccupied with food and vomiting after eating. These eating habits and behaviours can have a significant impact upon all aspects of a person’s life. In these situations seeking a therapist can be the answer. At Therapy Central, we use evidence-based interventions, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), to help individuals deal with the symptoms and causes of eating disorders and enable them to live the life they want.
Work with our qualified eating disorder psychologists today.
Request a free 15min consultation
COVID-19 notice: Online Therapy & Counselling now offered for continued care
Discover Eating Disorders
What Are Eating Disorders?
It is common to be concerned with our appearance, what we eat and how much we exercise. The media is known to play a key role in these concerns where we often see and hear messages about healthy eating, dieting, exercise and beauty regimes as well as seeing images of thin and attractive people. An eating disorder is when these concerns, particularly around weight and shape, have a significant detrimental impact upon a person’s life.
What are the Symptoms of Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders involve difficulties around eating habits which can include restricting how much food is eaten, following strict rules, binge eating, being preoccupied with food and vomiting after eating. Exercise can become excessive and obsessive where a person may feel very guilty if they do not exercise. Other behaviours which can characterise eating disorders are using laxatives and diuretics.
These eating habits and behaviours can have a significant impact upon all aspects of a person’s life. In particular, they can lead to people becoming withdrawn, emotional difficulties such as anxiety and depression and they can have a detrimental impact upon a person’s physical wellbeing in the short and long term. In severe cases eating disorders can even lead to death. If you feel you have eating difficulties we advise that you see your G.P for them to assess your physical wellbeing.
Types of Eating Disorders
There are various eating disorder diagnoses which will now be outlined:
- Restricting the amount of food eaten and what is eaten
- Excessively exercising
- Strong fear of gaining weight and ideal weight/shape is much lower than what would be healthy
- Being significantly underweight (usually a BMI below 17.5)
- Significant loss of weight
- Holding a distorted view of one’s body e.g. seeing oneself as bigger than they actually are
- Binge eating which involves eating a large amount of food in a discrete period of time and a sense of feeling out of control (e.g. struggling to stop)
- Taking actions to prevent weight gain e.g. vomiting, excessively exercising, using laxatives and diuretics, extreme dieting
- How a person views themselves is largely based upon weight and shape
Binge Eating Disorder
- Eating large amounts of food, often quickly, even when not hungry and when feeling full
- Sometimes eating in secret
- Feeling guilty and ashamed about food eaten
Some people experience eating difficulties which do not quite fit into these three different categories; this is termed Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified.
What Causes Eating Disorders?
The exact cause of eating difficulties is unknown. However, it is likely that a range of biological, psychological and environmental factors contribute to the development of an eating difficulty.
Examples of biological factors include:
- Brain chemistry
Examples of psychological factors include:
- Low self-esteem
- Perfectionist tendencies
- Striving for high levels of control
- High stress levels
- Poor body image
Examples of environmental factors include:
- Dysfunctional family dynamics
- Childhood trauma
- Pressure from around you e.g. school/peers/being bullied, work where importance is placed on maintaining a certain body shape and weight (such as dancing, athletics)
- Wider societal pressures to be a certain shape and weight e.g. via the media .
When Should I Get Help For an Eating Disorder?
An eating difficulty can be challenging to overcome on your own. It can have a large impact upon your life in many ways. It can take both an emotional and physical toll on you. If you are experiencing an eating difficulty it is important to reach out for help.
Eating Disorder Therapy
Psychological therapies are recommended for all types of eating difficulties. During an eating disorder therapy you will be helped to firstly gain a good understanding of your difficulties, including what is possibly causing them and maintaining them. You will then be introduced to a range of coping strategies to help you to address your difficulties in order to overcome them.
The most popular approach is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Eating Difficulties (CBT-E). This CBT approach has been tailored to address eating difficulties. CBT-E involves being supported to make helpful changes to your eating habits, adjusting troublesome thinking as well as finding ways to improve your mood, self-esteem and body image.
There are other approaches that have also been shown to be effective for eating difficulties. For example Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) has shown promising results for those with Bulimia Nervosa.
How Long does an Eating Disorder Therapy last?
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend up to 16 sessions of individual CBT-E for binge eating disorder, up to 20 sessions for bulimia nervosa and up to 40 sessions for anorexia nervosa. The total number of sessions needed in order to see significant change can vary from person to person depending on various factors, such as the complexity of the difficulty and readiness/willingness to change.
Our Eating Disorder Therapists
All of our therapists are qualified psychologists, psychotherapists or counsellors registered with several professional bodies. These include the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the British Psychological Society (BPS), as well as, BACP, UKCP and BABCP.
Our therapists use CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), psychodynamic, humanistic and integrative approaches, tailored around your needs to help you deal with your unique challenges and reach your goals.
The Therapist l had was absolutely brilliant with me. He had patience with me and bit by bit l gained a little of confidence to try and get out and go on the buses.
He deserves an award and if l could l would in the beginning l thought how is this person going to get me back on public transport but he did he gave me the confidence l lost and now have back.
I will never forget him and what he has done for me. I wish him nothing but the best in his life.
My therapist was excellent. I highly recommend her and I am truly thankful for my sessions, I left feeling confident and positive.
The mental tools, systems and approaches I have been able to develop with her and use in my life have been hugely beneficial.
Thank you to all at Therapy Central.
The Therapist really gave me the space to talk and express my my feelings and fears in a very comforting environment.
She was there not only to listen, but challenge my thinking, guide me during the uncertainty I was experiencing and give me useful and practical tips to improve my mental health and wellbeing. Highly recommended!
Working with the therapist has been a life changing experience. Each session has been invaluable, helping me gain a good understanding of CBT methodology enabling me to incorporate ways to combat stress and anxiety in my daily life.
The Therapist shows that she really cares and has the ability to make you feel calm whilst discussing any personal issue.
Fees & Insurances
Therapy, Counselling and CBT sessions are 50 minutes long and are usually held at regular weekly time slots.
15 Minute initial
Your Private Healthcare Insurance Provider
If you are looking for therapy for eating disorder in Central London, at Therapy Central we can help you learn the strategies you need to start taking back control from your eating difficulties. With eating disorder therapy you’ll be enabled to make the crucial changes to bring balance and fulfilment back into your life.
You don’t have to face your eating difficulties alone. Start managing it with an eating disorder therapist in London today.
COVID-19 notice: Online and Telephone Eating Disorder Therapy and CBT is now provided for continued care, support and safety. We’re here to help. No matter what.
What happens after I make an enquiry?
After receiving your enquiry we’ll contact you to organise a FREE phone consultation. You will be able to tell us more about your specific circumstances and needs and ask any questions you have. Then, if you want to proceed with therapy or counselling, we’ll match you with the therapist(s) with the best expertise to help you with your challenges and send you a list of their available appointment slots. If you’re satisfied with one of these, we can then go ahead and book your first appointment. You can also request to work with a specific practitioner and, depending on availability we’ll try accomodate this.
What happens at my first appointment with the therapist?
Your first session will likely be different than future appointments. You and your therapist will get to know each other and will begin to build a working alliance. It will be a chance to have the confidential space to express your circumstances, feelings and thoughts and being listened to with depth, attention, empathy and without judgement . Your therapist will likely ask you more about your reasons for seeking therapy, and any symptoms you’re experiencing. You may also be asked questions about your past and the history of your issues, as well as how they currently impact your life in the present. Finally, your first session may be a powerful place to discuss what you would like to achieve with therapy and agree on the length, methods and approaches of treatment.
Is online therapy effective?
If you choose online over in-person therapy rest assured that this has been proven to be just as effective as regular face to face therapy, and in some cases even more effective. In addition, choosing online therapy brings additional benefits, for example avoiding longer waiting times, greater flexibility with appointments and you won’t need to travel to our practice. You can enjoy online therapy from the comfort of your home.
How long the Therapy/counselling sessions last?
Therapy/counselling sessions last 50 minutes and are held at regular weekly time slots. On occasions we are able to allow some flexibility. This can be discussed with your therapist.
Do you offer reduced rates/concessions?
We offer low-cost rates at £60 per session to those on a low income, unemployed, students and NHS workers. Please highlight in your enquiry if you would like a concession rate and how you qualify for this. Depending on the availability of our therapists, we’ll do our best to accommodate your request.
Do you have a cancellation policy?
We have a 48 hours no-fee cancellation policy. However you will be charged for sessions missed without giving the full notice.
Our Practice in Central London
Our comfortable and confidential therapy rooms are conveniently located 3 min walk from Oxford Circus station, in Central London (see map below). Change starts with Talking!
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for Eating Difficulties –> Click Here
- Excellent self-help resources for Eating Difficulties –> Click Here
Self-help book for binge eating disorder and bulimia:
- Overcoming Binge Eating, Second Edition: The Proven Program to Learn Why You Binge and How You Can Stop Paperback – July 12, 2013 by Christopher G. Fairburn (Author) –> Click Here
- The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bulimia: Using DBT to Break the Cycle and Regain Control of Your Life (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) by Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher PhD and Michael Maslar Psy/D | Aug 1, 2009 –> Click Here
- Overcoming Bulimia Nervosa and Binge-Eating: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques by Peter Cooper –> Click Here
Self-help book for Anorexia Nervosa:
- Overcoming Anorexia Nervosa (Overcoming Books) by Christopher Freeman (Author) –> Click Here
Research into the Effectiveness of Therapy for Eating Difficulties:
- Dare C, Eisler I, Russell G, Treasure J, Dodge L. Psychological therapies for adults with anorexia nervosa. Randomised controlled trial of out‐patient treatments. British Journal of Psychiatry 2001;178(3):216‐21.
- Hay PJ, Bacaltchuk J, Byrnes RT, Claudino AM, Ekmejian AA, Yong PY. Individual psychotherapy in the outpatient treatment of adults with anorexia nervosa. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2003, Issue 4. [DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003909; CD003909]
- McIntosh VW, Jordan J, Carter FA, Luty SE, McKenzie JM, Bulik CM, et al. Three psychotherapies for anorexia nervosa: a randomized, controlled trial. American Journal of Psychiatry 2005;162(4):741‐7.
- Pike KM, Walsh BT, Vitousek K, Wilson GT, Bauer J. Cognitive behavior therapy in the posthospitalization treatment of anorexia nervosa. American Journal of Psychiatry 2003;160(11):2046‐2049.
- Schmidt Ul, Oldershaw A, Jichi F, Sternheim L, Startup H, McIntosh V, Jordan J, Tchanturia K, Wolff G, Rooney M, Landau S, Treasure J. Out‐patient psychological therapies for adults with anorexia nervosa: randomised controlled trial. The British Journal of Psychiatry 2012;201(5):392‐99.
Dr Raffaello Antonino, Counselling Psychologist
Dr Amy Smith, Counselling Psychologist