Early diagnosis is important in the treatment of eating disorders. With proper treatment, many people can fully recover.

Effective treatments involve a multidisciplinary approach, composed of various interventions such as: a complete medical evaluation, nutritional counseling, support, medical follow-up, psychotherapy (individual, group and family) and, in some cases, medication.

Here they are in details:


Psychoeducation provides patients with information about eating disorders and their impacts. This helps ED sufferers better channel their energy towards making rational choices and controlling their fear of eating, as they are better informed and better able to cope with their illness.

Behaviour Therapy

As its name implies, behaviour therapy is the attempt to modify unwanted behaviour, which in this case refers to abnormal eating habits. This therapy aims to change the patient's habits and behavioural cycles. For example, healthy behaviours that were previously avoided will be gradually introduced, such as eating food that the patient may consider "fattening".

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy helps individuals reevaluate wether the choices they are making, for example excessively control what they are eating or their weight, is good for themselves. The main goal is to help patients regain control of their eating behaviour.

Relationship-centred Techniques

Relationship-centred Techniques examine the interpersonal conflicts that can form a deep-rooted basis of the eating disorder. These techniques aim to help ED sufferers cope with these problems.

Body Image Therapy

Body Image Therapy helps ED sufferers become more aware of and verbalize thoughts about their own bodies.

Group Therapy

Group Therapy helps patients overcome their fear of expressing themselves by helping them develop social abilities, share experiences, etc.

Family Therapy

Family Therapy aims particularly to familiarize and educate a patient's family about eating disorders (especially when the patient is young). The main goal is to reduce any anxiety that may prevent family members from helping the ED sufferer.


Medication is a treatment supplement usually administered selectively and in moderation. However, some medication have shown to help interupt severe binging and purging or to help people with very severe weight loss tolerate their weight gain. Medication is specifically used to alleviate concurrent symptoms (depression, anxiety) and not to treat the disorder itself.


In the case of severe symptoms, an inability to control dangerous behaviour or non-response to prior therapy, hospitalization may be necessary in order to develop a suitable treatment.

The Douglas Eating Disorders Program offers services to individuals suffering from one of these disorders. The Douglas program is the largest ultraspecialized program in the province. It serves the entire province of Quebec and provides access to specialized clinical services.

The eating disorders research program is internationally recognized.

Research at the Douglas

Research at the Eating Disorder Program has a top-notch reputation around the world. The following Douglas scientists specialize in eating disorders research:

[Eating Disorders: what are they?] [Eating Disorders: causes and symptoms] [Eating Disorders: treatments] [Eating Disorders: advice for the family]