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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the Eating Disorders
Annual Review of Clinical Psychology  (IF18.561),  Pub Date : 2021-05-07, DOI: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-081219-110907
W. Stewart Agras, Cara Bohon

Research findings strongly suggest that cognitive behavioral therapy for the eating disorders (CBT-ED) is more effective than other treatments for bulimia nervosa (BN) and for binge eating disorder (BED), although interpersonal psychotherapy appears to be equally effective for BED. Evidence for the effectiveness of CBT-ED for the persistent (adult) form of anorexia nervosa (AN) is insufficient at present and is essentially absent for AN in adolescents except for some evidence from uncontrolled trials. This article begins with an overview of the early studies in the development of CBT-ED that showed a similar effectiveness of other symptom-focused psychotherapies—a finding that was neglected at the time. Later developments are then considered, including comparisons of CBT-ED with other psychotherapies, efforts to develop Internet-based training and treatment, and electronic applications for treatment. Finally, implications of the findings for future short- and long-term research and for clinical practice are considered.