Eating Disorders are serious mental illnesses that do not discriminate by age, gender, ethnicity or socio-economic status. However it is important to remember that successful treatment and recovery from an Eating Disorder is possible. There are different kinds of Eating Disorders, including Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, OSFED, and disordered eating. At The Glow Centre, we pride ourselves on having clinicians with a high level of training and experience in treating and managing the full range of Eating Disorders using evidence-based approaches.
Taking the first steps towards treatment can be challenging. A person with an Eating Disorder may feel stressed, nervous, anxious, embarrassed, ashamed or scared as they enter the treatment and recovery phase. Some may still be in denial about their problem, while others may feel like they have their disorder under control, even when they don’t.
Seeking help as early as possible greatly reduces the severity, duration and impact of an Eating Disorder. If you notice any warning signs or symptoms, whether in yourself or someone you care for, you should seek professional help straight away, rather than waiting for the illness to progress.
Helping with body image concerns and body dissatisfaction are also part of what we do at The Glow Centre. Body image is the perception that a person has of their physical self and the thoughts and feelings that result from that perception. When a person has negative thoughts and feelings about his or her own body, body dissatisfaction can develop. Body dissatisfaction is an internal process but can be influenced by several external factors.
Positive body image occurs when a person is able to accept, appreciate and respect their body. Positive body image is important because it is one of the protective factors which can make a person more resilient to eating disorders. In fact, the most effective eating disorder prevention programs use a health promotion approach, focusing on building self-esteem and positive body image, and a balanced approach to nutrition and physical activity. A positive body image will improve:
- Self esteem, which dictates how a person feels about themselves and can infiltrate every aspect of life, and contribute to happiness and wellbeing.
- Self-acceptance, making a person more likely to feel comfortable and happy with the way they look and less likely to feel impacted by unrealistic images in the media and societal pressures to look a certain way.
- Healthy outlook and behaviours, as it is easier to lead a balanced lifestyle with healthier attitudes and practices relating to food and exercise when you are in tune with, and respond to the needs of your body.
At The Glow Centre, we are committed to best practice in the treatment of Eating Disorders. We take a collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach, usually involving a client’s GP as well as a dietitian who is trained and experienced in working with Eating Disorders.
In addition to nutrition and medical treatment, to recover and stay well, clients must also make changes in their thinking and behaviour. Psychological treatment is an essential part of treatment for everyone with an Eating Disorder. It provides a chance to find out what triggers a person’s eating problems and to work out how to deal with them. Our psychologist Dan Wilson has a passion for helping people with Eating Disorders and is highly trained and experienced.
The most common psychological therapies for Eating Disorders are:
- family therapy (family members work together as a team to directly manage a child’s behaviour)
- cognitive behavioural therapy (works by teaching you to recognise your negative thoughts and beliefs and to challenge them, so that you can change your behaviour)
- interpersonal psychotherapy (focuses on the link between when and how your symptoms started and on problems you have relating to other people)
- psychodynamic psychotherapy (focuses on uncovering what’s on your mind that you are not normally aware of).
Enhanced Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT-E) is a short-term, time limited, individual outpatient therapy for adults with eating disorders. It involves working one-on-one with a CBT therapist to uncover the factors that keep eating problems going – and then systematically together, tackling them in the treatment.
Consistently across research trials, CBT-E has been shown to be the most effective treatment for eating disorders in adults.
If someone is severely underweight, they will need to begin their physical recovery before they start psychological treatment, so they are strong enough and their brain is working properly.
For more information about CBT-E, visit this website:
Whichever therapy for your Eating Disorder you and your care team decide on, three things will always be true:
- You will play an important role in your own treatment.
- You will need to be patient and keep persisting.
- You must be committed to the treatment.