Counselling for Eating Disorders & Disordered Eating
And, How can Counselling Help with Self-Esteem?
Counselling can be helpful for those struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating. It can help uncover what's at the route of the disordered eating, any themes or traumas associated with food or body image, help people understand the changes in thinking and behaviour, and empower people to make necessary changes. Counselling can help take the eating disorder out of the driver seat and put you back in charge.
Disordered eating, self-esteem, and body-image issues can be challenging and complex issues to navigate. While there are many factors that can contribute to these challenges, counselling can provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to work through their concerns and develop healthier relationships with food and their bodies.
Disordered eating refers to a wide range of unhealthy eating behaviors that can negatively impact physical and mental health. These behaviors can include restrictive eating, binge eating, purging, and other forms of food-related behaviors that are not in line with a healthy relationship with food. Counselling can be an effective way to help individuals address the underlying causes of disordered eating and develop healthier habits and attitudes towards food.
One of the benefits of counselling for disordered eating is that it can help individuals explore the underlying emotional and psychological factors that contribute to their unhealthy relationship with food. Many individuals with disordered eating use food as a coping mechanism to deal with emotional distress or other issues. Counselling can help individuals develop more effective coping strategies and explore alternative ways of managing difficult emotions.
Counselling can also help individuals develop a better understanding of their nutritional needs and develop healthier eating habits. A counsellor can work with individuals to develop a meal plan that is both nutritious and sustainable. They can also provide guidance on how to overcome obstacles to healthy eating, such as emotional eating, binge eating, or negative self-talk.
Self-esteem is another issue that counselling can help with. Low self-esteem can have a significant impact on an individual's mental health and overall quality of life. Counselling can help individuals explore the underlying causes of their low self-esteem and develop strategies to improve their self-worth.
One of the benefits of counselling for self-esteem issues is that it can help individuals identify and challenge negative thought patterns. Many individuals with low self-esteem have negative thoughts and beliefs about themselves that can be deeply ingrained. Counselling can help individuals identify these negative thoughts and develop more positive and empowering beliefs about themselves.
Counselling can also help individuals develop more effective coping strategies for dealing with the negative effects of low self-esteem. A counsellor can work with individuals to develop strategies for managing negative self-talk, building self-confidence, and setting healthy boundaries with others.
Body-image issues are another common concern that counselling can help with. Many individuals struggle with negative feelings about their bodies, which can lead to a variety of mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, and disordered eating. Counselling can provide individuals with a safe and supportive environment to explore these issues and develop a healthier relationship with their bodies.
One of the benefits of counselling for body-image issues is that it can help individuals develop a more realistic and positive perception of their bodies. Counsellors can help individuals challenge negative beliefs and attitudes about their bodies and develop a more positive and accepting attitude towards their physical selves.
Counselling can also provide individuals with strategies for managing the negative effects of social media and other societal pressures on body image. Counsellors can work with individuals to develop strategies for limiting exposure to negative body image messaging and developing a healthier relationship with social media and other online platforms.
National Eating Disorders Association. (2021). Get help & support. Retrieved from https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support
Striegel-Moore, R. H., & Bulik, C. M. (2007). Risk factors for eating disorders. American Psychologist, 62(3), 181-198.
Cash, T. F., & Smolak, L. (Eds.). (2011). Body image: A handbook of science, practice, and prevention (2nd ed.). Guilford Press.