The hot article of the day is about about a "new" form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Enhanced (CBT-E). It's interesting to see how the media decides to title the article. Words range from "potential" to "curing" eating disorders.
CBT-E, developed by Christopher Fairburn, professor and researcher at Oxford University, is an extension of the standard CBT treatment used for bulimia. Fairburn developed two forms of CBT-E--one focuses only on the eating disorder, while the other also delves into low self-esteem and extreme perfectionism issues.
In a study of 154 patients with bulimia and "atypical" eating disorders, results found the majority showed improvement and had sustained effects over a period of a year with both forms of CBT-E. Two-thirds of those finishing the study had complete and lasting responses.
Fairburn says, "Now for the first time, we have a single treatment which can be effective at treating the majority of cases without the need for patients to be admitted into hospital." He is now currently studying a large-scale trial using CBT-E with anorexic individuals.
I guess I'm not quite seeing what the big hoopla is and how this CBT-E is "different" from standard CBT. I'm certainly not a fan of some media outlets saying how this therapy could "cure" eating disorders. Perhaps, that's just the skeptic in me.
I guess my other qualm with all this is, well, shouldn't issues of perfectionism, low self-esteem, depression, etc. already be addressed in whatever therapy is considered?
Obviously, more information on this new psychotherapy needs to be given. Maybe those of you in the UK might know more about this since it is apparently increasingly being used there.
Here's an interesting article The Independent which asks similar questions and looks at both sides of the coin in how CBT is effective and also its problems.