Both cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy show good effects in the treatment of eating disorders when the treatment lasts for a relatively long time.

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This emerges in a study that was recently published in the acclaimed Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry


High quality of the study

The study in question was a controlled randomized study (RCT), which is the gold standard in research on forms of treatment - and which thus also makes this an important study.

Not least, extensive therapies were also given to the patients with eating disorders, where the average was close to 37 treatment hours for all patients; in other words, these were therapies that lasted for quite some time. 

In the study, good effects of the treatment were also found, and this applied to both forms of treatment that were evaluated: namely cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy.


Equally effective

In short, both forms of treatment proved effective in treating the eating disorder.

Some nuances were different across the therapies. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy had a somewhat better effect in terms of episodes of uncontrolled food intake as is often seen in bulimia, while psychodynamic therapy had a somewhat better effect on eating-related worries.

Nevertheless: The main conclusion from the study was quite clear that both forms of therapy are useful in treatment of eating disorders for many patients.