Many men and women of different ages are obsessed with their body image and weight control. Society and media glorifies an unhealthy body image pressing for women and men to look a certain way. Although being overall conscious and fit about ones body is healthy, excessive dieting, exercise, etc. can result in eating disorders. These disorders can also depict a way of showing control and are also used as a mechanism of coping with anxiety and stress.
Eating Disorders are characterised by severe disturbances in eating behaviour. There are four main types of eating disorders:
These eating disorders can affect an individual’s personal and professional life by causing depression, social withdrawal, and obsessive-compulsive tendencies amongst others. They further can cause tooth decay, kidney damage, early menopause, hormonal imbalances, bone density loss, cardiovascular problems, etc. Counselling and psychotherapy therefore provides a safe environment to discuss issues regarding preoccupation with weight, excessive dieting, comfort/binge eating, negative body image and other factors related with eating disorders. The therapist primarily uses cognitive behavioural techniques to help the client process and understand the underlying cause of their problem. They together examine and then challenge the irrational thoughts, feeling and beliefs that maintain this cycle. They further gain insight on any triggers and precipitators. The therapist then by using various cognitive strategies and behavioural techniques helps the client improve their eating habits, self image, etc. The client is also taught various alternative behaviours to replace their compensatory behaviours. They are eventually also provided with various coping strategies in order to deal with their problems better and to avoid the possibility of a future relapse.