Food plays a vital role in our lives - it is a matter of survival. Our personal relationship with food may change from time to time. We may having cravings, we may lose our appetite or we may eat too much depending on what is going on in our lives at the time. This can be temporary and soon return to what is normal for us.

However, eating problems or disorders are very different. They are longer term problems where the sufferer feels a compulsion to control the way they take in and force out food and yet at the same time can feel out of control of their life. It is an attempt to control the unbearable and difficult feelings which are present.

These behaviours with food are a manifestation of something deeper which is being played out through our eating habits and can literally be a matter of life or death. Eating problems can be detrimental to both physical and emotional health, and be life-threatening. They can have an impact on every aspect of our life and the people we care about.


Psychodynamic counselling and psychotherapy

Seeing a psychodynamic counsellor or psychotherapist will allow you to think about the symptom of your eating problem and help to make sense as to what it means to you, what could be the purpose of it's function and what maintains the feelings and behaviour that drive the symptom.

It will be important to think about your early experiences with food and your relationships with others, in particular with your family in order to really understand why you respond to life in this particular destructive way through what you take into your body and what you force out of your body in the form of food. It can be a long a difficult journey in understanding yourself and beginning to recover.


Cognitive behavioural therapy

Coming to see a CBT therapist, will involve typically talking about issues and problems with the eating issue and begin to learn to identify negative patterns in thinking, emotions, and behaviours. Together, a treatment plan is created by the therapist and client to progress forward in therapy.

Within the sessions, the therapist will address and reduce negative behaviours that are associated with the eating disorder. The therapist will provide education and awareness to healthier eating, behaviours, and cognitive processes.

Coping strategies are typically developed for managing negative emotions. Usually, distraction, prolonging urges, and stopping thoughts are some of the skills taught to cope with overwhelming triggers and feelings.

Individuals are encouraged to challenge their internal thought process and identify unhealthy interfering thoughts which may have an impact on recovery. New, healthy thoughts replace unhealthy ones to help shift perspectives.

CBT requires being able to overcome distorted thoughts about self, body image, and self-esteem and how it relates to the eating disorder.

It also involves changing interpersonal relationships and how thoughts and emotions affect communication with others. Hope is a part of CBT as it helps identify positive changes and strengthens motivation for recovery.

counselling and psychotherapy in Ipswich Suffolk for eating problems - the Stephenson Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy