Pros and Cons of Online Therapy for Eating Disorders – Credihealth Blog


We often hear of eating disorders and how they are detrimental to one’s health. They can affect a person’s physical appearance and mood, causing them to withdraw from their friends, family, and loved ones. As a result, the disorder is physically painful and can also be emotionally traumatic. Educating the public about eating disorders and educating clients about their options would help immensely. One way to help educate people would be through online therapy. Online therapy for eating disorders is a form of therapy that involves meeting with a therapist online.

Advantages of Online Therapy for Eating Disorders

  1. Affordability

Some of the most expensive types of therapy are group therapy and individual therapy. Those on a budget but still needing help would find online therapy a great alternative. Online therapy allows people to talk to therapists via video chat or collaborate with therapists via email, texts, or phone calls. A person’s schedule can also affect the type of form their treatment will take. No matter how busy one is, one can always find time to meet with their therapist and get the help one needs.

  1. Increased Accessibility

Therapy is generally offered at only certain hours during the day. As a result, people who work full-time do not have access to therapy, nor do they have the time to go to therapy and still work. Online therapy allows people to talk to their therapists whenever they want, as long as they can access a computer or mobile device. Therapy becomes more flexible in terms of scheduling, which can help those who cannot commit large blocks of time for treatment sessions because of other commitments.

  1. Discrimination

People who suffer from eating disorders suffer from low self-esteem due to a lack of understanding. It can be a result of other people’s ignorant treatment and behaviors. Online therapy allows people to talk about their eating disorders and receive relevant feedback without judgment. It is because therapists need to be trained in their specialization and various forms of therapy. Still, not everyone has the resources to afford such extensive training.

  1. Improved Communication

People suffering from eating disorders frequently feel that they cannot express themselves effectively or may be unable to express themselves at all. Many times, people suffering from eating disorders are slow to process information. They may not fully understand what is being said to them, making it difficult for the therapist to work with the client. The therapist would be better able to communicate with clients through online therapy.

  1. Enhanced Interaction

People who suffer from eating disorders experience loneliness. Addressing one’s pain and loneliness through online therapy allows people to interact with the world around them and the therapist in a safe and controlled way. It improves the ability of individuals suffering from eating disorders to be more active in their lives and leads them to have a stronger sense of self-esteem, which would help with recovery.

  1. Immediate Feedback

A therapist is a significant person in recovery. Not only are they trained to help with recovery, but they can also be a source of motivation and support. With online therapy, therapists can better assess the client’s needs and provide feedback much more quickly than through traditional therapy. It is because of the immediate feedback and availability. In addition, clients feel less threatened by the therapist because there is no physical interaction involved in online therapy.

Disadvantages of Therapy for Eating Disorders

  1. The Ability to Meet the Client in Person

In traditional therapy, clients can meet with their therapist and see the client’s surroundings, which gives them a little more comfort. However, there can be problems when clients can interact with the therapist in person. It is especially prevalent in people who suffer from ethnic minority eating disorders.

  1. The Lack of a Physical Environment for Therapy

People who suffer from eating disorders have unique needs. They may have specific types of food that they like, along with texts and other comforting objects. Therapy should be conducted in as similar a physical environment as possible. It is because it helps the client feel comfortable and helps reduces stress.

  1. The Lack of a Strong Support System

Support is critical in the recovery process, especially during the initial stages. A person suffering from an eating disorder who lives alone or is not close with their family and friends may find it hard to stay motivated and assertive through the recovery process without a robust support system. Online therapy does not involve having close contact with people, so it cannot be an effective form of therapy.

The primary purpose of eating disorders is to gain weight and maintain it. They can do this through various means, variations of bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating. People who suffer from eating disorders feel different emotions while in stages of recovery, such as self-hatred, sadness, and loneliness. Thus, it is essential for people who suffer from eating disorders to have the right source of support that can help them move forward through their recovery process.

Also read: Antidepressant Abuse And Disorders: Why Is It Dangerous For Your Life?

Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of Credihealth and the editor(s). 

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