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Eating Disorders Evidence-based treatment Family-Based Therapy Los Angeles

Empirically Validated Treatments

Empirically Validated Treatments For Eating Disorders

Today’s Los Angeles Times contained an article which highlights Family Based Treatment and Cognitive Behavioral Treatment, two treatments I provide:

Today, doctors and therapists focus on a handful of treatments that have been validated by clinical studies. For teens with anorexia, the first-line treatment is something called family-based therapy, in which parents and siblings work with the patient at home to help restore normal eating habits, said Dr. James Lock, an adolescent psychiatrist at Stanford University who specializes in treating eating disorders. Treating patients at home instead of in a hospital setting is less disruptive to their lives and is thought to promote recovery.

The therapy cures about 40% of patients in three to six months, and another 40% to 50% improve but remain ill, studies have found. The remaining 10% stay the same or get worse.

Researchers are still investigating the best way to treat teens with bulimia. Evidence is mounting in favor of cognitive behavioral therapy, which involves helping individuals change their attitudes and thoughts about food and body image. Studies show that about 40% of people with bulimia will recover after three to six months and another 40% will improve but still struggle with the disease; 20% remain the same or get worse, according to a 2010 review in the journal Minerva Psychiatry.

Full article available here:

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Eating Disorders Family based treatment Los Angeles

Exposure in the treatment of Eating Disorders

Exposure therapy is widely recognized as a necessary (and sometimes sufficient) ingredient of treatment for most of the anxiety disorders including phobias, panic disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder.  Anxiety is a core psychological feature of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.  However, instead of being afraid of heights, speaking in public, having a heart attack, or contamination, individuals with eating disorders are primarily afraid of food, eating, and shape and weight.

Both cognitive-behavioral therapy and family based treatment, two empirically validated treatments for eating disorders, employ exposure techniques.  Exposure works through the process of habituation, the natural neurologically-based tendency to get used to things to which you are exposed for a long time.   During exposure, habituation occurs as people acclimate to their fear and come to realize that nothing actually dangerous is occurring. Habituation promotes new learning of safety, tolerance of fear feelings, and extinction of the fear avoidance urge. 

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Exercise Los Angeles

Free fitness Hollywood/miracle mile area

I commonly see patients in my psychology practice for depression, anxiety, and other emotional complaints. When I’m taking someone’s history, there’s one question I always ask which may surprise you:
“Tell me how often you exercise.”

The benefits of exercise are enormous and well documented: exercise invigorates, improves mood, reduces anxiety and stress, boosts self-esteem, and improves focus and concentration.

Many of my clients who are new to Los Angeles struggle to develop an exercise regimen here. Many feel overwhelmed and don’t feel they have the time. If this is the issue, change your perspective: exercise isn’t adding to your problem – it’s part of the solution. Exercise is one of the simplest, least expensive ways to manage stress and maintain life balance. With a little creativity, you can build exercise into your routine here.

Sometimes cost is an issue. If running in the great LA weather doesn’t appeal and joining a gym in the Hollywood area is too expensive, there are still numerous opportunities for free and FUN fitness in the area. All of these offer the opportunity to meet people as well.

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