Eating Disorder Therapy
Your Eating Disorder Is Getting Physically And Mentally Harder To Manage Each Day
The amount of energy you spend managing your food, managing your impulses, and managing your weight is unsustainable. It’s exhausting!
Some days, finding something you can tolerate wearing may seem impossible. You might end up with a crumpled pile of clothing on the bed—a mound of misery that you have to sort through whenever you get home at night. For the first time, you may find yourself considering therapy for eating disorders.
You Feel Powerless To Resist Your Impulses
Your preoccupation with weight, calories, fat grams, and dieting could be controlling all your decisions. Yet no matter how miserable you feel, no matter how hard you try to resist your impulses, there is always…
another meal you just can’t eat…
another binge you just can’t resist…
another weight you have to reach…
another and another and another…
When this is the kind of cycle you find yourself in, we encourage you to connect with one of our therapists. At Intrinpsych Woman, we specialize in helping people overcome disordered eating. Whether you’re struggling with binge-eating, anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, ARFID, food addiction, or any other eating disorder or form of disordered eating, we are confident that therapy can help you achieve a healthier relationship with food and weight.
Eating Disorders Are The Natural Result Of A Culture That Prizes Appearance Above All Else
Roughly 29 million Americans struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime.* The root causes of eating disorders vary from person to person. Sometimes they’re the result of trauma, genetics, or the way someone was raised. For example, people with anorexia were often raised with at least one very intrusive and perfectionist parent while people with bulimia often have at least one parent who alternates between being overly intrusive and completely absent.
Although there is more awareness around women struggling with eating disorders, many men struggle with them, too. Anyone can fall prey to unhealthy relationships with food, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Therapy is a chance to heal the underlying emotional issues responsible for eating disorders.
Eating Disorder Therapy Can Help You Form A Healthier Relationship With Food And Weight
We live in a society that promotes external solutions to internal problems. So when things go wrong, it is tempting to believe that the answer to emotional or developmental problems can be found in concrete attempts to change our bodies and appearance. In other words, we try to control how we feel by controlling how we look.
Therapy can help you break out of this need for control. It gives you a safe space to explore the internal, familial, and cultural dynamics that fostered your struggles with food.
Working through these dynamics is complicated and often requires the help of someone trained in eating disorder treatment. After all, not all therapists are comfortable working with food-related concerns. Most therapists are trained to see these concerns as indicative of a larger problem—but when it comes to eating disorders, you have to actually talk about the food. Here at IntrinPsych Woman, our therapists specialize in supporting, educating, and empowering people with eating disorders.
What To Expect In Sessions
One of the most common phrases we hear in eating disorder therapy is “I feel fat.” Our goal is to show you that fat is not a feeling—when you have a multitude of emotions, you experience the sensation of being physically larger because of them, as if your body is growing in real time. In this way, we want to help you understand the relationship between emotions and somatic sensations in the body. By exploring how your struggles with food and body image are connected to deeper emotional wounds, we can help you untangle the difference between feelings, somatic sensations, and physical reality.
As you learn how your eating disorder arose and what purpose it serves, you’ll also develop new skills for working through your fears and managing your anxiety around food. After all, courage is not the absence of fear—it’s doing something despite your fear. Therapy is like a laboratory—a safe place to try new skills or challenge old fears, whether that means challenging yourself to try a specific food or building more structure into your eating routine.
Tailoring Your Treatment Plan
Our practice draws from a wide range of approaches to help clients overcome disordered eating. We often utilize Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), which gives you a concrete set of skills for tolerating and managing the intense emotions driving your eating disorder. DBT can help you manage the urge to engage in specific eating disorder behaviors, allowing you to make better decisions about how and what you eat.
Our therapists also offer some basic nutritional guidance for people struggling with eating disorders. After all, eating disorders are not just about emotional problems—they’re also about the food. Learning about nutrition can help you understand how your dietary needs may differ from what you believe they are. You’ll learn to move towards eating habits that align with what’s best for you.
Although there is a myth that eating disorders are lifelong, nothing could be further from the truth. We’ve seen the overwhelming majority of our clients learn to live a life free of not only food and weight concerns, but of the thoughts and urges that cause them to engage in eating disorder behaviors. We want the same for you.
You May Have Some Questions Or Concerns About Eating Disorder Therapy…
What if I don’t like my body when therapy is over?
We encourage you to reframe the question: “What if my body isn’t within the cultural ideal when therapy is over?” Part of the work is learning to accept that we all have a body with a biological system that has been operating without our mind’s interference for thousands of years. Recently we have been taught that somehow this internal regulation cannot be trusted. The key is learning to trust your body—to listen to it—so that you can find balance. By working with your body, you can come to appreciate what it can do.
What if therapy doesn’t work?
The only way to know is to give it a shot. That said, there are higher levels of care if therapy alone isn’t enough—we can get you more help if you need it. The ideal outpatient treatment for an eating disorder is comprised of a therapist, dietician, general practitioner, and psychiatrist. It’s best to assemble a team of experts and see what can be achieved that way before resorting to higher levels of care.
If you take away my eating and exercise patterns, I won’t be able to function as well.
Our approach to therapy is not all-or-nothing. We aren’t just going to take away all of your current ways of functioning in one fell swoop. We’ll slowly and gradually give you other means of support so that you don’t have to rely on your eating disorder behavior. Sometimes change happens without you realizing it—it can be that gradual and painless. Sure, sometimes you need to put effort into the change. But we aren’t about ripping anything away!
Your Eating Disorder Does Not Define You
It doesn’t have to consume your life anymore. If you’re struggling with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, ARFID, or any other eating disorder, we encourage you to pursue treatment with us. To get started, you can call us at (917) 750-1330 to schedule a free, 20-minute phone consultation
Food is more than just fuel for our body — it has an emotional connection. That’s why we have terms like “comfort food.” When we’re feeling down or need a pick-me-up, indulging in our favorite foods gives us the boost we need.
In the U.S., 80% of girls have been on a diet before they turn 10. (source) Take a few minutes and watch this TED Talk by neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt. https://www.ted.com/talks/sandra_aamodt_why_dieting_doesn_t_usually_work According to Aamodt: Several long-term...
Research is revealing that more and more women are falling prey to eating disorders later in life. These may be relapses of eating disorders from years gone by, or they may be unique to midlife issues. Nevertheless, this ‘significant minority’ is growing, and the...