Eating Disorder Counselling and Therapy for Weight Loss/Body Image
Many of us are obsessed with body image and weight control. In a recent survey, nearly two-thirds of women admitted that their body size negatively impacts their lives, and the same is true for many men. We are surrounded by images of thin (and beautiful) people, and many people feel unhappy with their bodies by comparison. Problems can arise through excessive dieting, fasting, exercising, calorie-counting, laxatives and purging. These issues can occur at any age.
For some people, restricting food content can be a way of keeping in control. However, binge-eating can be a way of relieving anxiety or stress. The type of eating issue can be particular to the individual, and needs to be understood in order to find ways of working through it.
Having distorted eating patterns can lead to many physical complications such as tooth decay, kidney damage, bone density loss, high or low blood pressure, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal problems, stunted growth (in adolescents and teens) and depression.
How do I know if I have an eating disorder? Some signs:
- Does food preoccupy you?
- Have you lost a lot of weight?
- Do you stash food?
- Do you make excuses to not eat around other people?
- Do you wear clothes to hide your shape?
- Do you take laxatives, made yourself sick or exercise excessively?
- Do you worry about losing control?
- Do people comment about your weight or eating habits?
What is eating disorder counselling & psychotherapy?
Counselling and psychotherapy can help with psychological causes of food-related problems. Eating disorder counsellors can help with issues such as comfort eating, pre-occupation with weight, binge-dieting, negative body image and eating disorders such as bulimia.
NICE guidelines recommend cognitive behavioural therapy for bulimia nervosa. The recommended course of treatment should involve 16 to 20 sessions over 4 to 5 months, although this will vary according to presenting issues.
What are the benefits of eating disorder counselling?
- Understand the causes of your eating issues
- Examines the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that maintain the cycle
- Gain self-understanding and insight, including identifying triggers
- Improves your eating habits, self-Image and psychological strength
- Develops tailor-made coping strategies to replace compensatory behaviours such as vomiting, laxatives and over-exercise.
Eating disorder counselling at Harley Therapy™ London
At Harley Therapy, we will work to address the underlying causes of the issue. Eating disorder counselling will usually entail cognitive behavioural therapy techniques such as goal setting, food diaries and thought monitoring.
Anorexia can be very difficult to treat and often requires medical support, which eating disorder counsellors working at Halrey Therapy are unable to provide. Therefore we do not take on severe cases of anorexia for counselling.
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Further reading on body image/eating disorders and counselling
Issues for Eating Disorder Counselling
- Binge eating
- Weight obsession