Eating Disorders (E Attia, Section Editor)

Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 432-446

First online:

Psychological Treatments for Binge Eating Disorder

  • Juliette M. IacovinoAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis Email author 
  • , Dana M. GredysaAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis
  • , Myra AltmanAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine
  • , Denise E. WilfleyAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine

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Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most prevalent eating disorder in adults, and individuals with BED report greater general and specific psychopathology than non-eating disordered individuals. The current paper reviews research on psychological treatments for BED, including the rationale and empirical support for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), behavioral weight loss (BWL), and other treatments warranting further study. Research supports the effectiveness of CBT and IPT for the treatment of BED, particularly for those with higher eating disorder and general psychopathology. Guided self-help CBT has shown efficacy for BED without additional pathology. DBT has shown some promise as a treatment for BED, but requires further study to determine its long-term efficacy. Predictors and moderators of treatment response, such as weight and shape concerns, are highlighted and a stepped-care model proposed. Future directions include expanding the adoption of efficacious treatments in clinical practice, testing adapted treatments in diverse samples (e.g., minorities and youth), improving treatment outcomes for nonresponders, and developing efficient and cost-effective stepped-care models.


Binge eating disorder Eating disorders Loss of control Psychological treatments Treatment review Randomized controlled trials Cognitive behavioral therapy Guided self-help Interpersonal psychotherapy Behavioral weight loss Dialectical behavior therapy