Therapy for eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive overeating, may include individual, family, and group sessions. At Veritas Counseling Center, both adolescents and adults are seen for eating disorders. The therapist has had success with healing her own eating disorder in the past and brings this additional empathy to the therapeutic relationship.
There is a strong emphasis on family involvement in the treatment, as family members of eating disordered clients often have symptoms of codependency that may contribute to maintaining the problems. The family members may also have denial about the severity of the problem and want to avoid addressing it or they may have attempted to control the eating behavior of the client without success.
Treatment techniques and referrals are based on clinical assessment in each individual case. Clients involved in inpatient residential treatment programs are accepted for ongoing and continuing care. When appropriate, adjunct Equine Assisted Psychotherapy is also available and often very helpful for interrupting eating disorders and preventing relapse. Check out the weekly group starting in June!
Like addictions, eating disorders have a component of denial where the person is unable to see that they have the problem or they tend to minimize the severity of it. They may be resistive to seeking help and resistive to letting go of their perceived notions of control. In severe cases, an Intervention may be necessary to interrupt the eating disorder.
Anorexia, Bulimia, and Compulsive Overeating
Anorexics are people who have an intense fear of becoming over-weight even though they are underweight. They may refuse to maintain body weight at or above the normal weight range for their age and height, have an extremely distorted body image, and severely restrict their food intake in order to maintain their low body weight. Their lack of nutrition eventually begins to affect their entire body and can cause numerous medical problems, and can eventually be fatal. Some anorexics also engage in binge eating and purging which is characteristic of bulimia.
Persons with bulimia have recurring binge eating episodes followed by some type of inappropriate compensatory behavior such as purging (self-induced vomiting), laxative abuse, using diuretics, enemas, or other medications (sometimes weight-control medications), fasting, or excessive exercise. These behaviors are attempts to avoid weight gain from the binge eating. Clients with bulimia typically engage in these compulsive behaviors a minimum of twice a week and often several times a day for durations of months and even years. Like, anorexia, bulimia is a dangerous disorder, having serious medical complications and resulting in overall malnutrition and potentially fatal related disorders.
Compulsive overeating is characterized by consistently consuming more food than is necessary on a regular basis. The eating may include all types of food or may be limited to certain kinds of food (sugar or chocolate, for instance). The overeating results in weight gain and typically clients are overweight and sometimes obese. The health problems associated with compulsive over-eating are numerous and as with other eating disorders, ultimately can be fatal.
If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, you are enouraged to seek help and end this destructive cycle.
The therapist at Veritas Counseling Center is also an author and offers free stress management tips to those in recovery as well as to the general public. For this month's tips visit www.calmingmeditations.com
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