Eating Disorder Therapy
An eating disorder is not just about food. Constantly feeling like you need the approval of others or attempting to be perfect in all that you do can be exhausting. Thinking that you must live up to other people’s expectations can create intense emotions that overwhelm to the point that coping in a healthy way seems unattainable. Instead, the coping method can turn negative and self-destructive — sometimes in the form of an eating disorder. Your relationship to food, initially used to make you feel better, can become deeply problematic.
A bulk of my therapeutic work and experience has focused on disordered eating. The depth and breadth of this experience, which includes running body image workshops, facilitating eating disorder groups, and spending hundreds of hours in individual sessions, has bolstered my understanding of eating disorders as well as my confidence that I can help.
Initially, I attempt to pinpoint what function the behavior serves for the individual. People often want to know ‘why’ they have an eating disorder, but I believe it’s more useful to focus on the purpose it serves. Does it help soothe negative emotions? Is it something in your life that you alone have control over? Does it feel like your eating disorder has become a friend? Becoming aware of the many functions that food can serve is a step towards understanding and treating an eating disorder.
I believe in developing a unique treatment plan for each client that will reduce the symptoms of the disorder, while increasing self-reliance and strength. This may include some nutritional psycho-educational information and the collaboration of a dietitian or family physician to ensure that your health is not being compromised. In order to get the most effective treatment possible, teamwork, consultation and family involvement is often the best approach.