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Counselling for Eating Disorders

A person who is wasting away because they are afraid of food and weight gain is in great distress.

Having a compulsion to eat and eat is a terrifying loss of control.

Anorexia Nervosa

People with Anorexia Nervosa reduce their food intake to lose weight. They are afraid of becoming fat and often have a distorted body image.  With weight loss there is likely to be tiredness, difficulty concentrating, moodiness, secrecy and irritability. Extreme cases of starvation can lead to death.

Bulimia Nervosa

People with Bulimia Nervosa have binging episodes where more food than usual is eaten very quickly. Eating can be mechanical, uncontrolled and trance like. Methods used to prevent weight gain include vomiting, taking laxatives and dieting. Symptoms include sore throat, stomach bloating and loss of enamel from teeth.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binging without purging is likely to cause weight gain

Eating disorders help sufferers to cope with many underlying issues

For example abuse, bereavement, low self esteem, fears relating to growing up and separating from parents, feelings of not fitting or belonging, an uncertain sense of identity and feelings of inner emptiness.

Food has many meanings and uses

Food can be used to anesthetise emotional pain and to fill up emotional and spiritual emptiness, difficult feelings may be swallowed.  People can be influenced by cultural ideas of beauty and perfection promoted by the media.

People are not always consciously aware of their underlying issues

If a person’s eating disorder were to magically disappear, underlying issues might cause difficult feelings such as anger, fear and loneliness. Other ways of coping may be found such as self-harm and use of drugs and alcohol.

Person-Centred Counselling

Person-centred counselling is non-directive and at the client’s pace.
Because giving up unhealthy eating behaviours is within the client’s control, the risk of replacing them with other damaging behaviours is reduced.

Eating disorders are isolating with secret binging and time consuming obsessions such as counting calories, planning meals and exercising.
A person-centred counsellor is empathic and understands at a deep level from the client’s point of view. This can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.

It is essential that counsellors are trustworthy.
Person-centred counsellors form genuine, caring and supportive relationships with their clients.

Counselling can enable clients to make changes

Clients gain awareness and understandings of their underlying issues

They can think about improving their situation and how to take care of themselves physically and emotionally.

Clients can develop a more healthy relationship with food

They are likely to gain in self-confidence and self-esteem

Clients make decisions when they are ready to do so. A decision which others consider small such as adding another vegetable to one’s diet can be huge and courageous. As they become stronger clients may chose to make life style changes for example a new and more satisfying career.

Recovery

As difficult feelings emerge the counsellor is supportive, helping client’s to face and to make sense of whatever they are experiencing. Person-centred counsellors trust that their clients can recover and develop psychologically.

Relatives and Friends

Close relatives and friends are often affected. They may become extremely anxious, and uncertain about how to help. Counselling for relatives and friends can help them to gain their own insights and to feel more relaxed so that they are in a better position to be supportive.

Counselling in Harrow
Paula Newman - 020 8930 9831 / 07941 958 034
paulanewman930@hotmail.com

Counselling in EDGWARE
Lester Chern - 07973 803 952
chern.lester@hotmail.co.uk

 

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