This article is about the prevalence of Binge Eating Disorder or BED (eating large amount of food in a short amount of time, feeling out of control and guilty after) and explains the obstacles to getting help.  I offer an alternative.

Briefly, one obstacle to treatment is that the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or the DSM IV does not classify binge eating as its own disorder but rather falls under a general category.  Therefore getting full insurance coverage is often impossible making adequate treatment extremely costly.  When the next version of the DSM is released in May 2013, BED will be classified as a specific eating disorder, giving it parity with other medical conditions.  This means that insurance companies will view BED as medically based. Whether you have an HMO or a PPO your treatment will be fully covered.

At the end of the article Dr. Greenblatt states that medications and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) have been found to work well.  My clinical experience shows that medications for BED are not very effective and that CBT can be helpful if there is no underlying trauma.

What has been shown to be effective is The Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT).  The National Institute of Health funded a study by Kaiser Permenante showing TAT is significantly more effective than CBT or Chi Quong for weight loss maintainance.   TAT addresses the underlying stresses and traumas that both cause the shame related to bingeing and trigger bingeing.  In the 12-session group process I developed and lead with my colleague, Patricia Thatcher, LICSW, it’s possible to transform your relationship to food for good.  The pre and post-assessment questionnaires conducted on four groups, showed that “eating to self-soothe” was reduced by 50%.