Interpersonal Therapy Viable Option in Bulimia: CBT Is Treatment of Choice

Article excerpt

DENVER -- Interpersonal psychotherapy for bulimia nervosa is a viable alternative to cognitive-behavioral therapy, particularly in those parts of the country where practitioners adept in cognitive-behavioral therapy aren't readily available, Denise Wilfley, Ph.D., said at an international conference of the Academy of Eating Disorders.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the best-studied treatment for bulimia nervosa. It's widely accepted as the treatment of choice. The only therapy shown to rival it is interpersonal therapy (IPT), a technique more familiar to most psychiatrists and psychologists. The effects with IPT aren't as rapid as with CBT, but at I and even 5 years' post treatment the benefits of the two psychotherapies hold up equally well, according to Dr. Wilfley, director of the weight management and eating disorders program at Washington University in St. Louis.

In numerous studies, CBT has been shown to reliably produce far-reaching

and highly durable effects that outshine those obtained with pharmacotherapy or psychotherapies other than IPT. …