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EATING DISORDERS & BODY IMAGE COUNSELLING CALGARY

Eating disorders are characterized by persistent difficulties in a person’s eating behaviours, as well as related thoughts and emotions. Eating disorders affect people of all genders, ages, body sizes, classes, abilities, sexual identities, races, and ethnic backgrounds. 

 

Clients tell us that what they want the most is the freedom to not feel consumed by their eating disorder or by their obsessive thoughts about food and their body. We are here to help you take back your life and to focus your precious time and energy on living a meaningful and fulfilling life. 

Symptoms of disordered eating and body image concerns:

 

  • fears related to weight or weight gain
  • fears related to specific foods
  • rigid eating patterns
  • preoccupation with food
  • fears related to health
  • chronic dieting
  • bingeing
  • purging
  • compulsive exercise 
  • social isolation
  • fixation on body size or shape
  • distress related to body size or shape
  • compulsively weighing yourself
  • feeling pressure to “earn” food through exercise

 

Types of eating disorders and body image disorders:

 

  • Anorexia Nervosa. Relentless pursuit of weight loss through restriction of food and, often, excessive exercise. 
  • Bulimia Nervosa. Recurrent episodes of bingeing followed by compensatory behaviours such as purging. 
  • Binge Eating Disorder. Recurrent episodes of eating large amounts of food in secret until uncomfortably full, while feeling out of control. Often occurs within the context of dieting. 
  • Pica. Craving non-food substances, such as dirt, chalk, soap or hair. 
  • Orthorexia. Obsessive focus on “healthy eating” that disrupts daily life and leads to fear and distress about food. 
  • Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. Disturbed eating due to a lack of interest in eating or a distaste for certain smells, tastes, colors, textures, or temperatures.
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Fixation on perceived defects or flaws in appearance that causes significant distress. 

Many people struggling with body image and disordered eating experience symptoms consistent with a variety of these disorders. 

You do not need a formal diagnosis to access help for disordered eating. If your relationship with food or your body is negatively impacting your life and causing you distress, we can work together to build a better relationship.

How can counselling help with disordered eating and body image?

Counselling can help to address symptoms, as well as psychological, biological, interpersonal, and cultural forces that are driving the symptoms.  We can also help you to find additional resources that may benefit your recovery, including physicians, dietitians and nutritionists, psychiatrists, group treatment programs, etc.

 

We work from the Health at Every Size (HAES) paradigm, which is weight inclusive and weight neutral, emphasizes self-acceptance, and challenges cultural assumptions. We also incorporate concepts from intuitive eating when appropriate. 

 

Disordered eating and body image counselling in Calgary. 

In addition to helping you understand the type of disordered behaviours you are struggling with, therapy can help you uncover the underlying contributing factors and address them in an effective way.

We understand that it can feel terrifying to think about giving up disordered behaviours. This is quite typical and you are not alone in this. We will help you work towards your goals at your own pace. 

Individual counseling can help you overcome disordered eating and body image concerns and feel like yourself again!

Monarch Psychology offers individual counseling both in-person and online with a free 15-minute phone consultation.

Contact us today for more information.

Our Eating Disorders Therapists

Monika Pakstas
Nicole Caines