There's been a lot of buzz in recent years about acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for eating disorders. It's sort of a fusion between cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) which have also been proven beneficial in treating eating disorders.
Without getting into too much jargon, ACT is basically based on the premise that your values function as your north star, and that you can choose your behaviors based on this, regardless of thoughts or feelings you might be experiencing. For example, I gave a presentation last week. It aligned with my value of helping others find peace with food. However, I was anxious about public speaking. I was mindful of my anxiety, acknowledged and accepted its presence, AND I chose to give the presentation anyway. My north star (value) guided my behavior when my anxiety told me otherwise.
It's helpful to take an inventory of your values so you can articulate what's really important to you. Applied to the recovery process, it may mean that you value your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Behaviors that support this may include nourishing your body with food, moving your body in ways that feel good, and carving out time most days for journaling. Another value may be relationships with family and friends. This might mean attending a loved one's birthday party despite feeling uneasy about eating birthday cake.
For help identifying your values, try these worksheets from the book The Happiness Trap by ACT guru Russ Harris.
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