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Why Talk Therapy Don't Work For Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorder.

Updated: Jul 16, 2022

First of all, I truely believe that no kind of therapy should start with someone telling you that you are are broken, that something is wrong with you and that you have a self destructive habit because of a deep psychological reasons. Therapist shouldn't tell anybody with binge eating disorder or bulimia that they are trying to cope with some emotional issues or emotional disability. I'll say 1000 times if needed. YOU ARE NOT SICK, MENTALLY ILL OR BROKEN.

Most of traditional therapies (like Psychodynamic therapy, Cognitive behavioral Therapy) relies on a lot of thought analysis, which can't have an effect on the primitive part of the brain that is leading to the binge impulses.

Instead of telling you that Bulimia or BED is not representative of who you truely, they almost push you to identify with them, saying that they are symptoms of a deeper issue (low self estime, perfectionisme etc...) It also tend to make you think that you have no control over your impulses. Which is not true. Instead, you are told that you need to solve a bunch of other problems first, before you can address what is making your life miserable. Most of the time, after a session, you talked so much about all the possible reasons why you might have developped BED, that you feel drained and depressed.

In my opinion, any form of therapy that addresses underlying psychological issues and difficult emotions as a priority in the fight against binge eating will have to stop.

Quite frankly, considering the rate of success of talk therapies... I dont really understand why it still exist when It comes to Bulimia and BED.

"Research shows that psychodynamic therapy, in which addressing the root emotional causes and underlying problems is primary, helps only 6 percent of bulimics stop binge eating after five months of treatment, and only 15 percent after two years". K.Hansen

Now, You might know it already, but one of the reason (yes, it is a little bit more complex than that, I am not trying to disminish bulimia or binge eating disorder here), but you basically created a habit over time that created a temporary inability to refrain yourself from acting on binge impulses. Along with this, your brain pathways changed over time and you need to rewire it. In - very - short, the solution can be found with :

  • Understanding what is happening in your brain.

  • Changing your relationship to food and what you nourish your body with.

  • Working on trapped energy and emotions stored in your body through movement.

More on this topic

Through my own healing Journey and all the ressource I used on myself, I created the most comprehensive, science based Online Recovery Program to help you free yourself from Binge eating & Bulimia. Have a look to the video down below ;)

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