Emerging psychological treatments in the field of eating disorders

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2013 Nov;15(11):407. doi: 10.1007/s11920-013-0407-y.


Few treatments for eating disorders have established a base of empirical support, and those that have are still limited by high dropout rates and low abstinence rates. Thus, there is a critical need for innovative eating disorder treatments to fill this gap. The past decade has seen a surge in the development of novel treatments that address eating pathology. This review provides an overview of the emerging psychological treatments for eating disorders, including descriptions of the therapeutic rationales, treatment techniques, and research support. The review will cover face-to-face interventions that are provided in the context of individual or group psychotherapy. Treatments included in this review were organized into the following six categories based on their underlying therapeutic rationales: (1) cognition-focused approaches, (2) emotion regulation approaches, (3) exposure-based approaches, (4) motivational enhancement, (5) integrative approaches, and (6) family- and couple-based interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Empirical Research
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Psychotherapy / methods*