Give Us A Call: (512) 651-3575

Counseling For Eating Disorders

Should I Seek Eating Disorder Counseling?

Eating disorders are a category of psychological conditions that involve an intense preoccupation with food and body image.  It’s often said that an eating disorder is like a bad boyfriend: relentlessly critical and abusive.  Good eating disorder counseling can help you break up with ED – it’s difficult but ultimately liberating!

Body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, an obsession with seeming perfect, and a need to exert control over a situation that feels chaotic can compel an individual to develop abnormal eating habits. But so can a complex range of other factors: high levels of cortisol and serotonin can keep the brain buzzing with stress, which can promote the development of an eating disorder; a family history of eating disorders  enhances your likelihood of acquiring an eating disorder of your own—as does environmental exposure to childhood trauma (e.g. sexual abuse); and so can your societal views of food and body image. Just look at how the media in your culture views beauty. Do you live in a country where thicker bodies are considered beautiful? Or do you live somewhere where the ideal is to be stick-thin rather than healthy and strong?

Whether your abnormal eating habits include self-starvation or gorging yourself past the point of sickness on food, eating disorders wreak severe emotional and physical damage upon our bodies. One eating disorder in particular—anorexia nervosa—outranks suicide as the most dangerous mental health diagnosis.

But don’t lose hope: Lifeologie can helpAnd, you can feel comfortable in your own skin again!

How Can Eating Disorder Counseling & Therapy Help Me Heal?

Without proper treatment, an eating disorder can progress into a life-threatening medical condition. But, fortunately, recovery is achievable. A successful outpatient treatment plan should use an integrated approach, relying on the medical expertise of doctors and counselors to assess your condition:

Assessing Your Condition

  1. Your treatment program should prioritize your medical needs. Severe eating disorders can result in sudden cardiac or respiratory arrest, esophageal hemorrhaging (from repetitive induced vomiting), multiple organ systems failure, or death: So, early medical intervention to assess your health and restore your nutrition is key!
  2. Your therapist will help you address maladaptive beliefs about your body image and food.
  3. You may work to process your emotions surrounding food in individual sessions, with a nutritionist who may help you design a meal plan, in the context of a group, or as a component of family or relationship counseling.
  4. Your therapist will help you develop coping mechanisms to avoid the urges to binge, purge, or restrict food and help you understand the extenuating stressors that may be contributing to your condition (for instance, a correlated history of sexual abuse or working in an environment, such as athletics or dance, that “demands” thinness).
  5. Your therapist may introduce you to alternative therapies—such as psychotherapeutic yoga, meditation, mindfulness, equine therapy, and expressive arts as therapy—to equip you with tools for relaxation as you navigate your recovery process
  6. Your counselor will devote special attention to other psychological conditions that may occur simultaneously with your eating disorder, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc. and ensure that you receive comprehensive treatment for each need
  7. Your counselor may connect you with alternatives for higher levels of care, for instance, residential treatment programs or inpatient (hospital) care to stabilize your physical health prior to outpatient treatment