Information for patients: What happens during cognitive behaviour therapy for bulimia

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 14 August 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:382
  1. Alison Tonks (, freelance medical editor1
  1. 1 BMJ Unified, London WC1H 9JR

    Cognitive behaviour therapy is a kind of psychotherapy. Sometimes it's just called therapy. During cognitive behaviour therapy you talk to a trained therapist about your problems. Most people with bulimia see a therapist regularly for about 20 weeks, but you can see a therapist for longer if you need to. Each meeting with the therapist usually lasts about an hour. Your therapist could be a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a psychiatric nurse, a psychotherapist, or even a family doctor.

    Three phases of therapy

    Cognitive behaviour therapy for bulimia is often split into three phases.

    Phase one

    You start by learning to reduce bingeing and dieting. This takes about seven to nine weeks. Usually, you …

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