Binge Eating Group Therapy

September 21, 2016

London Health Sciences Centre’s Adult Eating Disorders Service (AEDS) in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Middlesex is launching an innovative outpatient treatment group for individuals with a Binge Eating Disorder.

“Binge eating is the most common eating disorder and should not be confused with bulimia nervosa. Individuals who are diagnosed with the disorder experience an episode of binge eating at least once per week over a 3-month period and do not participate in compensatory behaviours such as exercise or purging,” explains Wendy Pearson, Eating Disorder Specialist, AEDS, LHSC. 

Intended for adults 18 years of age and over who have been diagnosed with binge eating, the free treatment group will meet for 20 day-treatment sessions. “Our group therapy sessions focus on normalizing eating, identifying and managing triggers and ultimately providing participants solid skills to cope with urges and behaviours,” continues Pearson. 

The emotional aspects of the disorder including stress, social isolation, and guilt will be explored and management skills will be taught. Food journals and meal planning will also be taught and practiced during the sessions. 

The outpatient treatment program takes place in the community setting of 54 Riverview Ave., rather than in hospital and physician referral is required for admittance to the treatment group. Potential participants will then be assessed by the Adult Eating Disorders Service staff and a collaborative decision to be admitted to the group will be made with potential participants. 

“Our goal at the end of the 20 week program is for patients to be able to interrupt and discontinue symptoms which are the first steps towards a better quality of life,” says Pearson.