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Dave Waller

This page was medically reviewed by David Waller, (BACP, FDAP), Eating Disorder Programme Lead at Life Works

Eating disorders like bulimia can have a devastating impact on your mental and physical health. At Life Works, we provide people struggling with bulimia the help and support they need to regain control of their lives.

Our industry-leading team of mental health practitioners provide the treatment you need to make a full recovery from bulimia. Learn more about how we do that, and how you can get started on your path to recovery with Life Works.

What is bulimia?

Bulimia nervosa is a serious eating disorder that is characterised by sufferers engaging in periods of excessive eating (known as ‘binge eating’), followed by ‘purging’, in which they abuse laxatives or make themselves vomit as a means of getting rid of the calories that they’ve consumed.

How is bulimia nervosa treated?

The many effective treatments available for bulimia means you don’t have to continue suffering with your condition. At Life Works, we use tried and tested treatment methods to help those struggling with eating disorder make a full, lasting recovery.

Treatments include:

Bulimia treatment plans

Central to Life Works' approach to treatment is working with a team of specialist, highly-qualified psychiatrists and therapists to develop a treatment plan that’s which is individually tailored according to your needs and requirements. We also offer sessions with a dietitian.

Treatment plans come in one of three core formats: residential inpatient, outpatient and day care.

For the most intensive treatment, our inpatient programme gives you specialist, round-the-clock care and support on a residential basis – typically for between 28 and 42 days. Inpatient treatment puts you in a specialist environment built for recovery and leaving you able to focus fully on getting better.  

Day care or outpatient support might be more suitable if you’re suffering from bulimia but don’t need to be monitored on a daily basis and can function in daily life. As an outpatient, you’ll come into the Life Works centre for a number of agreed sessions a week where you can benefit from expert treatment that contributes to your recovery. These options can be either a step-down from residential treatment or an entry-point to treatment.

FREE Pre-Screening Eating Disorder Assessment

At Life Works, we offer a free eating disorder assessment, evaluating dietetic and therapeutic needs, to better understand each individual’s specific requirements and suitability for the recovery programme. Book your assessment today to find out more about the support and treatment that's on offer.


Therapy for bulimia

For many recovering from bulimia, their treatment plan will include a course of therapy.

The causes of bulimia can often to rooted in someone’s family or personal history, personality traits or how they respond to societal pressure. Therapy takes a look at these underlying causes, working to develop sustainable coping strategies that recognises potential triggers and guard against relapses.

Delivered on a one-to-one, group or family basis, effective therapy types for bulimia include:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT): Identify, change and manage the thoughts and beliefs that underpin your eating disorder.
  • Drama and movement therapy: Uses theatrical techniques and storytelling to help express emotions and resolve conflict.
  • Art informed therapy: Using art to create safe space to express your feelings, feel more in control and begin a journey of self-discovery.

Alongside conventional therapy, many other therapeutic interventions can prove effective for people with eating disorders. Examples include:

  • Body image/acceptance groups
  • Understanding emotions groups
  • Shiatsu
  • Somatic movement
  • Mindfulness
  • Relapse prevention groups
  • Meal and post-meal support
  • Access to Beat and Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous (ABA) groups

Practical dietetic techniques for bulimia

Treatment at Life Works will also involve a range of practical dietetic techniques. These support methods are designed to help to gradually expose you to the concepts of healthy eating, diet and nutrition.

Examples include personalised meal plans and meal and post-meal support from the full multidisciplinary team. Weekly shopping and cooking groups can also help to build a more positive, sustainable relationship with food slowly.

Family programme

We also offer an exceptional family programme to our bulimia clients. Not only does bulimia nervosa have a significant impact on your own life and general wellbeing, but it also has the potential to affect your family, friends and relationships with other people.

The family programme helps the sufferer of bulimia when exploring how their condition impacts their family. It also aims to help their family by opening up a line of communication, helping them to understand what their loved one is going through and how best support in the best way they can.

Our bulimia treatment centre

Our specialist eating disorder clinic in Woking offers a highly compassionate, supportive and non-judgemental environment that provides the perfect setting for you to address your challenges and take steps towards a positive future.

Set in a beautiful Surrey-based Georgian manor, Life Works helps each client to identify the root of their bulimia. We aim to tackle the behaviour and unhealthy thought patterns that are fuelling the disorder, rather than just addressing your symptoms of bulimia.

A leading rehab centre in the UK, the Life Works experience can help you secure the long-term wellbeing you deserve.

How to get help for bulimia

At Life Works, we understand that admitting that you have a problem with bulimia, and seeking help and support can be an overwhelming and daunting prospect. With our free eating disorder assessment, we make the process of entering eating disorder treatment as simple and straightforward as possible.

Use the information below to book your assessment today, and you can speak to a member of the Life Works team about the struggles you’ve been experiencing. We can assess your suitability for our eating disorder treatment programme, as well as allowing you the opportunity to ask any questions that you might have about your recovery journey.

Contact Life Works Today

To discuss how the Life Works team can help to support individuals and families dealing with an eating disorder, and for further information on treatment and rehabilitation programmes, please call: 01483 745 066 or click here to make an enquiry.

Free Eating Disorder Assessment

Book a Free Eating Disorder Assessment at Life Works in Surrey.   

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