16. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for the Eating Disorders: Getting off to a Flying Start

  1. John R. E. Fox2 and
  2. Ken P. Goss3
  1. Madeleine Tatham,
  2. Jane Evans and
  3. Glenn Waller

Published Online: 3 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118328910.ch16

Eating and its Disorders

Eating and its Disorders

How to Cite

Tatham, M., Evans, J. and Waller, G. (2012) Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for the Eating Disorders: Getting off to a Flying Start, in Eating and its Disorders (eds J. R. E. Fox and K. P. Goss), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118328910.ch16

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Division of Clinical Psychology, University of Manchester, UK

  2. 3

    Coventry Eating Disorders Service, United Kingdom

Author Information

  1. Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 9 OCT 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470683545

Online ISBN: 9781118328910



  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT);
  • eating disorders (EDs);
  • therapeutic stance;
  • therapy sessions


Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a relatively well-established treatment for the eating disorders (EDs). The best chance of making CBT for the EDs effective is to do it properly from the beginning, where ‘properly’ is defined by both technique and clinician's stance. This chapter is about how clinicians can structure and direct the first half dozen sessions of treatment to ensure that therapy goes well, whatever eating profile the client has. It begins with the therapeutic stance that the clinician can adopt, then details what makes for a good first session, before proceeding to the structure and content of the next five sessions. Throughout treatment, clinicians require clear and close supervision. However, that supervision is particularly important at this early stage, to ensure that the clinician stays on track and addresses the key tasks of therapy, as outlined in the rest of this chapter.