Common Conditions addressed at the CCT

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia is characterized by food restriction leading to a significantly low weight (that is, a BMI of less than 17). It is accompanied by a morbid fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, and a distorted perception of the reality and seriousness of their low weight. While some individuals exclusively restrict their food intake, others engage in binge eating and purging of caloric intake through self-induced vomiting excessive use of laxatives or excessive exercise.

With treatment, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, most individuals with Anorexia Nervosa experience remission within 5 years. It is particularly important to diagnose and treat this condition in its early stages. However, when hospitalization is required to address medical complications of malnutrition, remission rates are lower. The crude mortality rate for Anorexia Nervosa is 5% per decade.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa is at least 2-3 times more prevalent than Anorexia Nervosa. It is characterised by recurrent episodes, at least twice per week, of binge eating abnormally large amounts of food within a discrete period of time, and the experience of being out of control over eating during the episode. In addition, those with Bulimia Nervosa exhibit the symptom of compensating for the binge with self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives, fasting or excessive exercise. This disorder is also characterised by the individual’s sense of self-worth being unduly influenced by their weight and shape. Typically, those with Bulimia Nervosa are of normal weight.
Cognitive Therapy is generally highly successful in the treatment of Bulimia Nervosa.

Binge Eating Disorder

Those experiencing Bing Eating Disorder binge eat, as described in Bulimia Nervosa at least once a week. However, they do not compensate for the binge by purging or other compensatory behaviours. Instead, they eat rapidly, until uncomfortably full, alone and when not hungry, and are then likely to experience a deep sense of shame, guilt or disgust with themselves.
The Directors at OCCT have over 35 years of experience in treating eating disorders, and have published research on eating disorders extensively in peer-reviewed scientific journals. They were the Directors of the first Eating Disorders Clinic in Ottawa, and have gone on to teach the clinicians at OCCT fundamental and advanced strategies for using CBT to treat eating disorders. CBT for the successful treatment of Bulimia Nervosa is generally completed within 20 sessions, Similar treatment times have been noted for binge eating disorder. Anorexia Nervosa typically requires at least double that number of sessions. However, for those with Anorexia and dangerously low weight, hospitalization is required to address medical complications of malnutrition, and remission rates are lower.