How “the talking cure” helped Diane Keaton overcome her struggle with bulimia

Legendary actress Diane Keaton has been getting a lot of press recently after she opened up about her struggle with bulimia in her 20’s. In her new memoir, Keaton admits that when she started out in show business her poor self-image drove her to bulimia. Her weight loss started a five-year battle with this serious eating disorder.

Keaton sat down with Ellen Degeneres last week and opened up about her struggle with bulimia. After undergoing psychotherapy – what she called the ‘talking cure’ – Keaton said she one day realized that she did not want to binge any more. When asked to elaborate on how this therapy helped her, she explained, “Because I talked. I spoke it out. I said my thoughts and feelings. And I feel like, once you do that, you own it as opposed to, if you don`t talk about it, it becomes very abstract. To keep secrets doesn’t help you at all,” she said. “I think I’m a sister to all the rest of the women — and I’m sure men as well — who have had some kind of eating disorder, and I’m a part of the team.”

From a clinical perspective, the effectiveness of psychotherapy resides in its process – that of unveiling and making sense of motives, thoughts, behaviors, emotions, experiences and perceptions via talking with a psychotherapist.  This is what Keaton refers to as the ‘talking cure.’ The ‘cure’ comes in part through awareness but also through using newfound awareness to change old patterns and explore healthy ways of expressing oneself and getting one’s needs met.
At McCallum Place, a St. Louis eating disorder treatment center, psychotherapy is one of many tools used to effectively help those who struggle with emotional overeating, binge eating disorder, anorexia, and bulimia.  For those seeking help but do not feel they need an intensive treatment program, weekly psychotherapy sessions with one of Webster Wellness’s highly skilled psychotherapists is another option. Visit to schedule an appointment today.