How to Know If I Am Having CBT-E

To obtain CBT-E you will need to locate a healthcare professional who has been trained in CBT-E. As many eating disorder clinics will be able to provide CBT-E it is worth approaching one of them to enquire about its availability. If they can’t help you, contact your country’s eating disorder organisation (identified via the internet) and ask them about ways of accessing CBT-E.

Sometimes people are not sure if they are receiving true CBT-E. If you are concerned about this, please see below.

A Checklist of the Core Features of CBT-E

  • If you are not severely underweight, CBT-E will usually last for about 20 treatment sessions over 20 weeks. If you are severely underweight it will be longer, typically involving about 40 sessions over 40 weeks.
  • Treatment usually starts with two sessions a week. After a month or so (longer if you are very underweight), the sessions become weekly, and towards the end of treatment they are spread further apart. This pattern may differ in certain contexts, particularly if you are receiving more intensive treatment. Your therapist will explain the importance of having as few breaks in treatment as possible.
  • Very early in treatment you and your therapist will create a diagram illustrating what is keeping your eating problem going. The diagram will be used to guide your treatment rather like a road map.
  • Early in treatment you will be taught how to monitor your eating behaviour and accompanying events, thoughts and feelings in the moment (as you go through the day). Your therapist will also help you to understand more about your body weight and how to assess it. Treatment will involve you knowing your weight and your therapist will discuss with you any concerns you might have about this.
  • After a few weeks you will be helped to introduce an eating pattern that involves eating at regular intervals through the day.
  • Later in treatment there will be an emphasis on the following (if these apply to you):
    • Improving your body image and decreasing any concerns about your appearance.
    • Helping you cope with life situations that are likely to influence your eating.
    • Eating more flexibly whilst remaining in control of your eating.
  • Towards the end of treatment you and your therapist will devise a plan to help you stay well in the future.