HOW CAN HYPNOTHERAPY HELP?
If you or someone that you love are suffering from an eating disorder, then the important thing to know is that you are not alone – there is help available.
Upon making contact, an initial appointment will be made. This initial appointment will vary in structure to many other presenting issues, as a thorough assessment will need to be made in order to accurately identify exactly which eating disorder we are dealing with and what treatment plan will be required going forward.
After the session, you will have the choice as to whether or not you want to continue with the advised treatment plan. If treatment is to go ahead, a commitment will need to be made to the advised program in order to achieve the best possible outcome.
If the client is underage, a parent or guardian may be required to be present for part, but not all of the session.
If acute malnutrition or low body weight is present, the client may be asked throughout the treatment process to visit their doctor and permit contact between the doctor and therapist. This is in order that the therapist is able to adhere to an adequate level of duty of care and maintain an ongoing treatment process that is outside of an in-patient treatment setting.
TYPES OF EATING DISORDERS
Anorexia Nervosa is a serious mental illness which is not simply a ‘lifestyle’ choice, as some people may believe.
Psychological, biological, social and cultural factors are just some of the components involved when assessing why a person may be predisposed to developing the illness. Often a person who develops anorexia may initially use dieting behaviour in a bid to alter their body weight or self-image, which gradually develops in to a coping strategy to deal with difficult life circumstances or emotions.
For a person who is suffering from Anorexia, restricting food and focusing on weight can be a way of regaining a sense of control, in areas of life that feel out of control. Body image can come to define the entire sense of self-worth and it may be a way of expressing or even denying emotions.
It is traditionally thought that Anorexia is more frequently diagnosed in females; however, there are many men that suffer from this debilitating illness as well. There is a high incidence of depression and anxiety that coexists alongside Anorexia
For a person who develops Bulimia, it is often previous dieting behaviour which triggers the onset of Bulimia’s destructive cycle of bingeing and purging. Often, the more strict and rigid the diet, the more likely it is that a person will become disproportionately focused on food. When a person starves or deprives their body of adequate nutrition, the body responds with powerful cravings; this is its way of asking for needed nutrition. The person may then engage in a ‘binge’ episode to satisfy these cravings, and purging is seen as a way to in turn control weight gain.
As with Anorexia Nervosa, there are powerful psychological, biological, social and cultural factors at play which will contribute to the onset of this illness. A person who presents with Bulimia may often have an all-or-nothing mind-set; feeling that any diet slip up is a total failure. They may be using food as a way to determine their self-worth. After having just one square of chocolate, they may think, “I’ve already blown it, so I may as well eat as much as I want”.
The relief that bingeing brings is short lived, and soon after, guilt and self-loathing may set in, and thoughts turn to purging to wipe the slate clean. For a person who is suffering from Bulimia, it is often the purge which becomes the addictive and self-perpetuating element of the disorder, as it is the purge which can make them feel that they can take back some control.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder is the newest of the eating disorders to be officially classified in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as an eating disorder. Whilst many of us may engage in the occasional binge eating session (who hasn’t experienced regret at the end of Christmas Day?), Binge eating disorder is a much more severe and acute experience of this.
Large amounts of food will be consumed in a short space of time, accompanied by a sense of a loss of control. These binge sessions will occur at least once per week and will often result in significant weight gain. A sufferer will feel the same amount of guilt and self-loathing as would a sufferer of Bulimia; however they do not engage in compensatory behaviours by purging or fasting in any way.
When weight is gained, this may affect the person’s sense of self-worth and perpetuate the binge cycle again. It is important to note however, that not all obesity is related to an eating disorder.
As with any eating disorder, there is a high incidence of depression and or anxiety that often coexists alongside Binge eating disorder.
Other Eating Disorder (FEDNEC)
Eating disorders such as Anorexia and Bulimia are expressed in symptoms such as extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviours surrounding weight and food. They can result in very damaging consequences to health and can even be life-threatening.
For this reason, there are strict classifications around diagnosis of a person with an eating disorder, and in fact it is estimated that 7 out of 10 eating disorders which are ‘of clinical significance’ do not conform to the exact definition of Anorexia, Bulimia or Binge Eating Disorder.
For everything that cannot be strictly classified as Anorexia, Bulimia or Binge Eating Disorder, a category of eating disorders known as FEDNEC (feeding or eating disorder not elsewhere classified) exists.
These serious eating disorders can include a combination of characteristics or symptoms typical of Anorexia, Bulimia or Binge eating disorder but may not meet all of the criteria for diagnosis. Conditions such as orthorexia (a dysfunctional or disruptive obsession to only eat ‘healthy’ organic foods or foods of a certain food group, for example) and night eating disorder (binge eating only through the night) would fall into the FEDNEC category.
A sufferer of an eating disorder which falls into the FEDNEC category will often experience high levels of anxiety or depression, as well as low levels of self-esteem and an unhealthy preoccupation with body image as a way to increase self-worth.
Treatment programs for eating disorders are designed using a combination of counselling and hypnosis, along with the treatment methods and techniques taught by the Australian Centre for Eating Disorders.
Tuesday (Maidstone):10am – 8pm
Wednesday (Maidstone):3pm – 8pm
Thursday (Maidstone):10am – 8pm
Saturday (Caulfield):7.30am – 5.00pm
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0422 014 782
South Eastern Hypnotherapy & Counselling is a leader in the treatment of addictions, eating disorders, depression and anxiety.
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