Best Online Eating Disorder (Anorexia) Therapy

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With the rise of the Internet and social media, people have gained a warped picture of what one’s life and body should look like. Many strive for the ‘influencer’ look and lifestyle that they forget and forgo all limits. 

In the chase for the ‘perfect’ hourglass figure, flat tummy, and the ever-eluding size 6, many end up creating an eating disorder. 

A study has found that, in a person’s lifetime, 4% of women and 0.3% of men suffer from anorexia. 

Treating this mental disorder should be the first and most important step. After all, the consequences when people are misdiagnosed or worse, undiagnosed, with this problem can be horrid. 

A simple and easy way to help people with an eating disorder is through therapy. One good thing that came out of the fast development of technology is that now we can get online ED therapy. 

Read on to see the process of anorexia therapy – what it is, how it can influence your life and how you can treat the condition through it.

How We Calculate Score

Our rating system assigns brand scores on a scale of up to 5. To arrive at these scores, we use a weighted formula that considers TrustPilot ratings, User Engagement scores, and our staff’s experience with the platforms.

4.9/5

BetterHelp

Ratings
4.9 out of 5
  • Easy to Use
  • Personalized Service
  • Confidential
  • Text, Video or voice session
  • Licensed therapists
Best overall
4.5/5

ReGain

Ratings
4.5 out of 5
  • Mobile and user-friendly platform
  • Affordable
  • 24/7
  • You can change counselors
  • You can include your partner for free
4.4/5

Online-therapy.com

Ratings
4.4 out of 5
  • Unlimited messaging
  • 8 section CBT program, incl. 25 worksheets
  • Daily worksheet replies Mon-Fri
  • Change therapists with one click
  • Secure & confidential platform
3.7/5

TalkSpace

Ratings
3.7 out of 5
  • Convenience
  • Personal
  • 24/7
  • Confidential
  • Text, Video or voice session

What is Anorexia?

Before we explain this term, you should know that there is a difference between anorexia and anorexia nervosa. Both terms, however, refer to self-starvation in order to lose weight. 

Anorexia applies to the inability to eat and is not necessarily tied to a distorted picture of what you should look like. 

For example, anorexia can also come as a side effect due to depression, cancer, or other disorders – even medicine. In these cases, you see yourself as overweight but in reality, have the normal measurements.

This makes the treatment for anorexia easier. Usually, it involves pinpointing the cause for this disorder and then receiving a doctor’s help.

On the other hand, anorexia nervosa is a pathological disorder that has the sufferer thinking that they are obese even when they weigh below the average measurements for someone of that particular age and height. It’s practically the fear that you will gain more weight.

Anorexia nervosa is highly dangerous and should be immediately treated. Unlike anorexia, this type often pushes people into making damaging decisions like misusing laxatives, diuretics, and more often than not, vomiting after meals.

The treatment for this condition requires more serious approaches and is usually accompanied by various types of psychotherapy and medications.

Play Video about eating disorder therapy platforms

How Does Eating Disorder Impacts an Individual?

The harsh reality is that an eating disorder can impact every single part of one’s life.
By being stuck in that constant loop of binging food or obsessing over the leanness of your figure, your daily quality of life suffers in turn.

Namely, the more people are devoted to their food intake, the less they can tend to their daily tasks. This leads to creating more problems down the road, which can reach the point of breaking professional and personal relationships. 

Eating disorders have a big impact on your physical health. The body requires a constant flow of nutrients that keep your muscles, teeth, and basically every part of your body healthy and active. 

When shoving too much food or when not consuming enough of it, the body starts to deteriorate, hence various problems occur. 

For instance, people with anorexia can reach a level where they’re no longer able to move because their muscles had atrophied. This can later bring additional issues because unused muscles leak toxins that are harmful and deadly. 

In addition, eating disorders can have a huge negative impact on your mental health as well.

In some cases, the eating disorder comes as a result of a previous mental disease, and fortified with this, it can further impact one’s thought pattern and lead to anxiety and depression.

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Best Online Therapy Platforms For Eating Disorder

Best for Trauma, Anxiety and Support Groups

BetterHelp therapy is one of the top-rated online therapy providers as of today. 

  • 30000+ licensed therapists
  • Live video calls, phone calls, and messaging.
  • Provides counseling in specialized areas of treatment such as anxietydepression, and many others.

Pros

  • Multiple communication methods
  • Enables access to professional and experienced board-licensed therapists
  • Transparent on pricing
  • 24/7 availability
  • Patients can switch therapists at any time and as many times as needed

Cons

  • No free trial
  • No psychiatric care is available
  • Only one subscription plan is available with the prices varying

Best for Using Insurance for Therapy

Get matched with a therapist using Grow Therapy

Grow Therapy is that it offers both virtual and in-person therapy sessions. This gives you the flexibility to choose the type of therapy that is most convenient and comfortable for you.

Grow Therapy accepts most major insurance plans, making it an affordable option for many people. However, even if you do not have insurance, Grow Therapy offers affordable rates for out-of-pocket payments.

Pros

  • Choose your own therapist
  • Virtual and in-person therapy sessions are available
  • Accepts most major insurance plans
  • Affordable out-of-pocket rates
  • Wide range of specialties

Cons

  • Newer platform
  • Technical issues: Some users have reported technical issues with the Grow Therapy platform
  • Customer service: Some users have also reported mixed experiences with Grow Therapy customer service

Best for Medication Management Services

TalkSpace is an online therapy platform, that offers private counseling with the help of a network of licensed therapists. Customers can avail special features like unrestricted texting and access to registered as well as qualified therapists without requiring prior appointments. 

Pros

  • Three payment plan options
  • Talkspace does accept insurance
  • Offers teen therapy services
  • Includes psychiatric services and medication management
  • Possibility to choose a therapist.

Cons

  • The basic plan doesn’t include live sessions
  • Therapists take longer to respond
  • No option for communicating with the therapist via phone
  • Prices vary based on location and therapist availability

Best for People Looking Afforable Therapy

Online-Therapy.com is an affordable, convenient, and private online therapy website. It offers a variety of tools and resources to help users, such as worksheets, live sessions, and a journal.

Pros

  • Pricing
  • Safety, privacy, and confidentiality
  • Plenty of licensed therapists to choose from
  • Daily worksheet replies Mon-Fri

Cons

  • Insurance is not accepted.
  • You are matched with a therapist and not given the option to choose.
  • Not available in all 50 states.

The first thing everyone wants to know is if an online therapy session for eating disorders can be as effective as an in-person one. Simply put, yes it is. 

Online ED therapy works the same way as a traditional one does. The main difference is that it is done online, where you talk with the therapist from the comfort of your home.

In general, there are two types of treatments that can work for eating disorders. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is easily done through a video. Mainly, this therapy consists of identifying negative thinking and making some behavioral changes that would impact it, thus leading to a change. 

The second treatment is the Family-Based Treatment (FBT) which may be a little harder to do online. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The core of this therapy lies in the family. 

Basically, it asks each family member to contribute to the recovery of the person with eating disorders. FTB enlists the whole family to help and change the behavior of the patient.

Eating disorders affect 9% of people worldwide and around 10% of them have lost their lives to ED. Online ED therapy is a more convenient and cheaper way of treating these types of disorders, but there is still no evidence to support this claim.

For that reason, research from 2021 gathered several telehealth studies conducted on people with eating disorders. The result of this research concluded that all current studies show that online ED therapy has a significant positive impact on patients.

Final Words

Eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa, shouldn’t be dismissed as a simple problem that can be easily solved. The reality is that, if these issues are not treated immediately and effectively, the results are bound to be dire. 

Online ED therapy is a helpful way for people with this type of disorder to trace the path towards their recovery. This being said, treating anorexia nervosa with therapy alone is not fully advised. 

Many times, these online sessions will be accompanied by nutrition counseling, medications, etc. In some cases, calming exercises, like yoga or meditation, may be advised. 

Online treatments are more convenient for people and can bring the same level of efficiency as traditional therapy. All you need to do is find an online ED therapy platform and sign up for a session with a certified professional. 

It takes one step to start healing and growing – take it! 

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John S. - Editor in Chief
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