The years that I was plagued by my eating disorder I was disconnected from myself, not allowing myself to both sit with and express how I was feeling. As a result, the cycle of disordered eating continued to perpetuate itself.
After a plethora of conversations with friends and family, I finally accepted that it was time to take the next step and see an eating disorder therapist. This was challenging for me because I didn’t feel comfortable talking about my emotions or my eating behaviors. Looking back on it now, welcoming the help, I believe, was the best thing that I could have done for my disordered eating and my recovery process.
Why Talk? Eating disorders are rooted in emotion, and repressing feelings only serves to exacerbate the disorder. Why? Because suppressed emotions become stagnant energy in the body, keeping you stuck in your ways, unable to break the pattern.
By talking about emotions you begin to understand and release your wounds, your traumas, and your disconnect from self, facilitating healing. At Body Positive Works, I learned that I am perfect exactly as I am. The wounding was that I have distanced myself from self, from my sense of truth, from my authenticity. My eating disorder therapist helped me to come back home to self.
Integrating Cognitive Therapy: Eating disorder therapists incorporate cognitive therapy into their practice, and for good reason. Cognitive therapy is a type of therapy that is utilized for people to become more cognizant, mindful, and awaken to their consciousness, inciting shifts in perspective. It is about understanding what you’re thinking and why you’re thinking it, as well as that you can have thoughts but there is not always a need to act upon them.
Having a type of therapist who integrates this modality is beneficial because it allows you to comprehend the impact of thoughts and actions and constantly come back to a greater understanding of those thoughts, what meaning is attributed to them, and the actions based upon them. Becoming more aware allows for space between the stimulus, the thoughts and emotions, and the reaction, the eating behavior.
Different Types of Therapies Available: There are a plethora of different types of therapists and therapies. Body Positive Works offers individual, family, group, body, and yoga therapies to support recovery from eating disorders, disordered eating, and negative body image. Let me lay out what each type of therapy entails:
Individual: You work one-on-one with a highly qualified eating disorder therapist to talk about emotions and experiences and experiment with mind/body practices to support your healing.
Family: You and your family meet with a specialized therapist to express thoughts and feelings surrounding your eating experience, and how it affects all involved.
Group: Body Positive Works holds space for groups of individuals to come together to share their experiences, witness community, and learn new ways of approaching and navigating disordered eating.
Body: As mentioned above, the repression of emotion serves to create energetic blockages in the body. Bodywork consists of unraveling that stagnant energy, the stored trauma, to ignite openness and freedom within the body, mind, and soul.
Yoga: The intention of yoga is to become embodied, to truly sit with and feel your emotions. When struggling with an eating disorder, there is a tendency to run away from feelings. Thus, yoga becomes a therapy, a way to reconnect with your body.
If you, or anyone you know, maybe struggling with an eating disorder, disordered eating, and/or negative body image, Body Positive Works is here to serve as a container for healing. It is our mission to help individuals come back home to themselves, to their truth, to their authenticity. Call us at 201-708-8448 so that we may be additional support.