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  • Therapy for Body Image Issues and Disordered Eating

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    Body Image Struggles:

    We (especially women) are constantly receiving messages that we are not enough, or, we are too much. This messaging often targets our bodies. We are taught that our worth increases the closer we’re able to conform to the thin, white, cisgender, heterosexual ideal. Because of this messaging many of us have conflicted relationships with our bodies, exercise and food. 

    You may be struggling with a body image disorder if you: 

    • Are constantly comparing your body with others.
    • Attempting to hide perceived flaws with styling, makeup or clothing. 
    • Are extremely preoccupied with a perceived flaw in appearance that to others can’t be seen or seems minor. 
    • Avoid social situations because of a perceived flaw or flaws. 
    • Believe that others take notice of your appearance in a way that is harmful to you. 
    • Spend significant amounts of time in front of the mirror or doing frequent checks throughout the day. 
    • Frequently seek reassurance about your appearance from others.

    Note about Fat Liberation:

    I am a therapist with a fat liberation approach. I acknowledge that fatphobia and fat trauma is very real and very harmful. As with many marginalized communities, health professionals have historically silenced and blamed fat individuals for the pain and oppression that they’ve endured. I am committed to active research on the best way to support fat clients and this includes fat-trauma-informed counseling. 

    Disordered Eating:

    Disordered eating is one way we may have learned to attempt to control our bodies. Disordered eating may not fit the diagnostic criteria for anorexia or bulimia. You could be struggling with disordered eating if you:

    • Have obsessive thoughts about food, eating or your weight.
    • Struggle to eat or eat enough in front of others. 
    • Develop rigid rituals or rules around eating. 
    • Eliminate food groups or experiment with diets. 
    • Use food as a punishment or reward. 
    • View exercise as a punishment or reward depending on what you’ve eaten.

    If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms related to body image struggles or disordered eating, please seek help. Eating disorders are particularly damaging to the body and mind and are one of the most deadly mental health issues we face.