• Catherine Lott

A Brief Explanation of CBTE


Cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBTE, is one of the leading evidence-based treatment for adults with an eating disorder. It is also extremely effective for the treatment of adolescents with eating disorders. Current data indicate that over two-thirds of people who complete treatment fully recover. There is no reason why you, or your loved one, shouldn't be in this group if you throw yourself into the process and give it priority in your life right now. The treatment is a one-to-one talking-type of treatment that primarily focuses on what is keeping the eating problem going. It is therefore mainly concerned with the present and future. It addresses the origins of the problem only as needed. The treatment will be tailored to your specific eating problem and your needs. You and your therapist will work to become experts on your eating problem and what is keeping it going. Depending on where you are in your recovery journey, Treatment will


  • Involve around 20 + sessions plus one initial assessment session, the first eight sessions are preferably where possible twice a week, the next 10 being weekly, and then three sessions being at two-week intervals

  • or Will involve around 40+ sessions over approximately 40 weeks, the first 20 or so sessions preferably where appropriate being twice a week. Afterwards they go to once a week and then have three sessions at two-week intervals. It is important that there aren't breaks in treatment . This is because we want to establish therapeutic “momentum" in which we work from session to session to break into your eating problem. Breaks in treatment are very disruptive as momentum is lost. It is especially important that there are no breaks in the first six weeks and no longer than one week breaks thereafter. We need to take this into account when thinking when it would be best for your treatment to start. Each appointment will last just under one hour, with the exception of the initial assessment session which will take about an hour and a half. It's helpful for you to make notes throughout the week of things you want to bring to therapy


You and your therapist will be working together as a team to help you overcome your eating problem.


You and your therapist will agree upon specific tasks (or "next steps") for you to undertake between each session. These tasks are very important and will need to be given priority. It is what you do between sessions that will govern to a large extent how much you benefit from treatment.


Since you have had the eating problem for quite a while it is really important that you make the most of this opportunity to change, otherwise the problem is going to persist or worsen. Be patient and be consistent. We don't get a 'day off' in recovery, but be kind to yourself. Recovery is not linear.


Treatment will be hard work but it will be worth it. The more you put in, the more you will get out.


If you're interested in CBTE for you or for your loved one, reach out today to set up a meeting and learn more.