Theory and efficacy of dialectical behavior therapy of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder

OBJECTIVES: Current theoretical and empirical evidences on how to operate in dialectical behavioral interventions were examined. The effectiveness of these interventions in the treatment of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder were analyzed too. METHOD: An aggregative literature review was made, using the keywords "dialectical behavior therapy", "bulimia nervosa" and "binge eating disorder", from the database PsycInfo and MedLine and from reference books, selecting the most representative and recent scientific texts about this psychotherapy model. RESULTS: Dialectical behavior therapy, initially designed for borderline personality disorder, has been extended to other disorders of Axis I. Its application to eating disorders is sustained in a dialectic paradigm, using also behavioral and cognitive strategies. This model allows to patients a more effective regulation of negative emotional states, reducing the likelihood of occurrence of bulimic and binge behaviors. CONCLUSION: Despite the few studies published about his efficacy, the existing results seem to show dialectical behavior therapy effectiveness with populations described.

Dialectical behavior therapy; bulimia nervosa; binge eating disorder


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