“There are various ways that individuals with eating disorders describe “dealing with” painful feelings: They may numb them through starving, soothe or push them down with bingeing, or get rid of them through purging.
This vicious cycle of fearing, avoiding, and feeling overwhelmed and incapacitated by feelings, to the point of having to stay ill or inflict self-harm to escape, makes Emotion-Focused Therapy a compelling approach to treating eating disorders. Emotion-Focused Therapy works directly with painful emotions, and views them as a source of information and meaning. Emotion, if paid attention to, can be like a beacon or a flashlight, leading us to what is important, what is of concern, and what needs healing. In this sense, Emotion-Focused Therapy is considered an “emotion-friendly” approach to recovery from an eating disorder.” – Joanne Dolhanty, PhD