At the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley in Saratoga/San Jose, we offer cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for Bulimia. Our approach is practical, goal-oriented, compassionate, and scientifically-based while focusing on your individual needs. If you think you may be experiencing bulimia, you can learn more about the disorder and our treatment approach below.
What is Bulimia Nervosa?
Bulimia is a compulsion to binge and purge. It involves frequent episodes of binge eating and a feeling of lack of control over the eating, followed by inappropriate compensatory behaviors, such vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, diet pills, fasting, or excessive exercise. If you have bulimia, you may be fearful of gaining weight and place a great deal of importance on your weight and body shape. You may have a normal body weight or even be a little overweight. You may also suffer from depression about your body weight and see bulimia as a “solution” to bingeing and overeating. In reality, bulimia can actually cause you to gain weight because the act of purging does not get rid of all calories consumed and the continued excessive food intake involved in binges can lead to long term weight gain.
Bulimia negatively affects both one’s physical and emotional health. It can affect every part of your life, including your feelings about work, school, relationships, day-to-day activities and your emotional well being. Bulimia is diagnosed if it happens at least twice a week, on average, for three months. However, you may not fit the full criteria for bulimia but still benefit from treatment.
Symptoms of Bulimia
- Episodes of binge eating where you eat more than you feel comfortable with and feel out of control
- Purging behaviors, such as self-induced vomiting, laxative misuse, or excessive exercise
- Intense fear of gaining weight or getting fat
- Distorted view of body shape
- Place great importance in your body shape and weight in evaluating yourself
Cognitive Behavioral Model of Bulimia
According to cognitive behavioral model, bulimia is maintained by a combination of dysfunctional beliefs about eating, weight and body image and a disturbance in eating and other self-care behaviors. Individuals with bulimia often suffer from low self-esteem and may be more vulnerable to the influence of cultural ideals about outer beauty and perfection. This can lead to self-worth being defined by body shape and weight and result in extreme eating and weight control behaviors. When dieting is rigid and unrealistic, you actually become more susceptible to losing control and overeating. Purging is a compensatory behavior that reduces anxiety about potential weight gain. Binge eating and purging also cause distress and lower self-esteem, keeping the cycle going.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for Bulimia
Cognitive behavior therapy for bulimia will help you develop regular and healthy eating patterns, build coping skills for managing triggers to binge eating and purging, and modify irrational attitudes about body image, weight, and food. In the initial stage of treatment, you will learn about about the factors that maintain eating disorder behaviors and begin to return to regular eating habits. You will learn to identify triggers to bingeing and evaluate and change the negative beliefs that maintain these behaviors. CBT will also focus on helping you effectively express your emotions, cope with stress, and communicate with family and friends.
Common Goals of CBT for Bulimia
- Uncover the triggers that lead to binge eating and purging behaviors
- Increase mindful eating behaviors
- Reduce negative thoughts about food, weight, and body image
- Develop healthy ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Increase positive emotions, self-acceptance and body image
Getting Help for Bulimia in the Saratoga/San Jose area
The Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley specializes in therapy and counseling for bulimia. We are located in Saratoga on the border of San Jose and Saratoga just 1/2 mile from Highway 85. With our convenient location near highway 85, we serve the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Saratoga, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Cupertino and Campbell, CA. Contact us at (408) 384-8404 for more information on how we can help you overcome your problems with bulimia.