I have taken on a lot of training to be able to give my clients as much help as they need. I’ve done training with the National Centre for Eating Disorders, I am a certified counselor who specialises mainly in eating disorders.
Types of eating disorders
There are a fair few eating disorders, some a lot more common than others.
- Anorexia Nervosa: Trying to keep your weight down as low as possible, which is why they eat as little food as possible
- Bulimia: When they sometimes lose control and eat a lot of food in a short period of time which is commonly known as binging and are then sick, they then restrict what they eat or do too much exercise to try and stop themselves from gaining weight.
- Binge eating disorder: When they regularly lose control of their eating, eat larger portions of food all at once till they feel uncomfortably full and that follows with upset or guild.
- Obesity: Often misseen it is, in fact, an eating disorder, it’s caused by consuming too many calories, so much more than your expected to have daily, more fatty and sugary foods.
If you feel like you may be experiencing an unhealthy relationship with food that’s affecting your regular eating habits, you potentially could have an eating disorder.
- Avoiding socialising when you think food will be involved
- Eating very little food
- Having very precise habits or routines to do with food
- Changes in mood
- Spending a lot of time worrying about your weight and body shape
- Making yourself sick
Physical signs could include: feeling cold, tired or dizzy, problems with digestion, your weight being very high or low for someone of your age, not getting your period for women and girls.
The problem is most of the time the individual suffering may not even know they have an eating disorder, but those around them will notice more.
A lot of the time fear plays a big part in the way eating disorders work and even if the person wants help, they may be afraid to take the next step. Recovery means changing behaviors which can be a terrifying process for someone with an eating disorder. It can feel daunting, the aim to be able to recover is to fight the fear and hope, in time they’ll regain a healthy relationship with food and themselves.
When suffering with an eating disorder, there is always help out there and recovery is possible. If you are worried, talk to someone, whether that’s a friend or a family member or a professional, your never alone.
You will in time have to visit your GP, they will then often send you to a specialist if they believe you do have one for further assessment.
What to expect
Counseling for eating disorders can help you to overcome those unhealthy relationships with food that may be affecting your daily life. If your seeking therapy for an eating disorder, my sessions will give you a caring environment where you know you can talk about whatever you like and feel safe too. There is no pressure or judgment and we can go at your own pace.
We will conduct an assessment, then do a structured session and homework to move forward whilst using the recovery record app if you feel that it’s helpful.
We will keep an eye on your eating and talk about ways you can begin to incorporate a different eating style, it is difficult but recovery is possible and I’m here to help you get through it.
Recovery record app
An app that manages your journey to recovery from eating disorders that includes: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. It can also be used for general eating, weight and shape concerns.
It replaces paper diaries with an easy to use app that connects you with the support you need and also gives your counselor more of an insight into how you’re doing.
You can keep a record of meals and feelings, customise log questions, meal plans, and coping tactics, track progress and loads more.
Recovery outcomes for counseling
Like anything recovery is possible, for some it takes ages and it can be a lot harder than it is for others. But with counseling, there are many positive outcomes for recovery. It can help you be free from the obsession with food, you won’t need to hide your behavior from others, making you feel happy and looking forward to another day, coping with things without turning to food, feeling better about your body.
Counseling information for eating disorder treatment
Barriers are predictable:
- Fear of change or weight gain
- Beliefs about food get in the way
- Non-deserving is common
- Unhelpful lifestyle/others
- I can’t- cravings
- It’s too stressful
- Blood glucose control
- Food monitoring: nothing patterns and cues
- We help people deal with the food environment
- Appetite sensitivity training
- Mindful eating
- Cravings management
- Teach skills like planning and problem solving how to deal with the holidays
Fear of change
- Fear of change: The yes-no exercise
- Fear of weight gain
- Experiment, reassure
- Fear of not getting it right
- Record what, when and where
- Discover eating (restricting cues)
- Identify unhelpful beliefs about food which can be tested &moods
Homework check- eg yes-no work/gold-star work/learning event for slip-ups
- The link between dieting and bingeing (keys)
- A resultant physiological model of hunger satiety based on blood sugar and insulin
- Cravings can be biologically driven
- Feasting and fastings are fattening
Nutritional rehab- barriers and strategies
- Old habits die hard: Yes/no homework for flexibility
- Lifestyle: Stimulus control, manage the environment, problem-solving skills, assertion skills, manage excuses sensitively
- Unhelpful food meanings: Food= medicine, food script work/the family meal
- Fear of weight gain: Reassure, willing to experiment, food wisdom
- I can’t do this belief: Gold star work, self-care homework
- Cravings emotional eating: Stress reduction, appetite awareness training, mindful eating, cravings card, learning event on the food diary
- Purging: Response delay, and work, education, etc
Common schemas in eating disorders
- Emotional inhibition
- Unrelenting standards
- Abandonment/ instability
Emotional resilience reduces ED symptoms
- I can self motivate
- Can say yes or no without feeling any guilt or shame
- Manages conflict reasonably well
- Deals effectively with difficult situations
- Accepts change; can make mistakes
- Feels ”in control”
Cognitive emotional behavioral therapy
Step one: Permission to feel all feelings including the bad ones without any shame. You may need to look at the past to identify beliefs about feelings like ”anger is bad.” Trauma work might be needed.
Step two: Know what you feel. Use sensory intelligence and give those feelings a name with a therapist’s help.
Step three: New strategies- for managing feelings which includes ”using” other people
Permission to feel without shame
Teach why we must feel and how: Including ”bad ones” like anger and jealousy
Who invalidated you? Who had the problem? If trauma, do trauma work asap to reduce the intensity of feelings
To know what I feel
- Develop sensing intelligence- what’s going on with my body?
- Binge analysis- what did you feel before and after?
- Ask about feelings- use emoticons, teach a vocabulary of feelings, reinforce it’s safe to feel
The therapist is the model and guide
What lies beneath
I have no control, I’m weak, I’m a failure, I’m not good enough, I am ugly, I am insignificant, I can’t stand myself.
New light thinking
- How would I like it to be?
- What would you need to…
- .Is there a more helpful way of thinking about this?
What might be more helpful to believe?
The information you disclose during our sessions is kept confidential and if it is necessary to pass on details to a third party, I will always ask your permission first.
If you’d like to receive counseling for eating disorders, please contact me today on 07510 495791, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form below. I’m always willing to listen.
Eating Disorders: Help is Available