We offer a number of treatments that are recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). At assessment, we will discuss treatment options with you to tailor a treatment plan to meet your individual needs.

The Adult Eating Disorder Service delivers a range of evidence based therapies for people with moderate and severe eating disorders; such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder. Care is delivered by a multidisciplinary team including psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, community therapists and an occupational therapist. 

During treatment, responsibility for medical monitoring and prescribing of any medication remain with your GP.

Individual treatment

 If this is the treatment option decided upon at assessment you will be placed on a waiting list before being allocated a community therapist. Individual treatment is time-limited, the aim is to equip you with the skills you need to feel able to continue your recovery outside of the therapy room. The exact length of your treatment and the frequency of sessions will be decided upon when you first meet your therapist. The focus of treatment is about creating and facilitating change within a supportive and caring environment.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) helps an individual explore their motivation and readiness to change the patterns associated to their eating disorder. A mixture of psycho-education material about the consequences of eating disorders and exercises weighing up the pros and cons of your eating disorder are covered to help enhance your motivation and readiness to change. This approach is often used as an addition to other therapies, but usually features strongly at the beginning of your treatment to establish whether you are ready to embark on active treatment.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) has been recommended as a treatment for individuals with an eating disorder by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). CBT focuses on understanding what maintains your eating disorder by drawing links between troublesome thoughts, feelings, your physical state and how you become caught in patterns to manage those thoughts and feelings. Factors that led to the development of the problem are also explored. Your therapist will help you challenge problematic thinking and behavioural patterns to help you towards recovery. The aim of CBT is that the individual learns to become their own therapist through learning a range of skills and techniques to manage their difficulties. For further information about CBT refer to the British Association of Cognitive Psychotherapies website.

Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)

Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) is a very active therapy that invites people to think about their patterns of relationships. CAT sessions focus on the difficulties that might have brought a person to therapy (e.g. an eating disorder) in the context of the deeper patterns of relating to themselves and other people. Through getting a better understanding of their own story, CAT helps people set manageable goals and experiment with doing things differently. CAT also aims to support people to give words to what can make change feel hard and how to care for themselves during that process. More information is available through the Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy (ACAT) website.

CBT Based Guided Self Help

We offer a Guided Self-Help (GSH) program based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder. The therapy consists of 8 weekly one-to-one sessions with a therapist supported by one of the following books. ‘Getting Better Bite by Bite: A Survival Kit for Sufferers of Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorders’ by Ulrike Schmidt, Janet Treasure and June Alexander. ‘Overcoming Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating’ by Peter Cooper. The sessions allow individuals to gain more understanding into their eating disorder and the patterns they can become caught in. It also gives individuals the opportunity to establish a regular eating pattern and look at alternatives to binge eating and compensating. The sessions are recovery focused and aim to provide a range of strategies that the individual will begin to implement with the support of a clinician.

Family work

Living with an eating disorder within a family can make life more stressful and  this can lead to problems appearing around communication. Family work may play a role in an individuals recovery depending on the needs of the family. Some level of therapy can help families to improve their understanding of eating disorders, learn skills to help support an individual with an eating disorder and improve communication within the family. 

The page was last updated on 13 April 2018 by aedscambs.


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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