Have you thought about having therapy to help you with your binge eating or eating issues? Are you not sure if it is for you, or you’re apprehensive?
Many people who are overweight or binge eat, feel misunderstood and ashamed and embarrassed about the way they eat. There is a reason or reasons for someone to binge eat or overeat. Most people will not do it out of choice. The unconscious benefits will outweigh the side effects of over eating. These benefits could include feeling more in control especially when other things may feel so out of control.
Overeating and binge eating stops us from feeling painful feelings or unfamiliar feelings. We may eat the way that we do and because we have been doing it for years, we have no idea why we are eating the way we are. Often we are not aware of what we are trying to avoid or what benefit it gives us. We fear being judged so It can be difficult for us to confide in others about our eating. Look at my other post on other binge eating therapies. (Internal link into binge eating therapy, what is the best therapy.
Why would I go to binge eating therapy?
Therapy can help us to take control of our lives by understanding the deeper reasons for our eating and it helps us to take the steps to heal it.
Many people do not see the progression of their binge eating. There may be a feeling of it is not that bad, or there is a feeling of being in control, or seeking enjoyment from it. This means that whilst the person can still go about daily life and activities, they will not seek help. However, binge eating usually has a shelf life. Clear reasoning and thought patterns can become distorted, as thoughts around food and weight become the only thing they can focus on. The relationship with food begins to completely take over their lives.
There does get to a point where most people have had enough. and you want a change. We often cannot see what is stopping us from eating the way we want to and having binge eating therapy helps us to change our thoughts and behaviours that are stopping us. Seeking help to talk about these feelings and exploring the reasons for your eating issues is key to healing them.
What Can I Expect From Therapy
Most of the time, disordered eating, binge eating and overeating serves the purpose of blocking out painful emotions or giving us positive emotions when we eat. Most people will not recognise this. Their expectations of therapy and especially hypnotherapy is that they can lay back and I will say a few magic words under hypnosis and they will magically stop eating the way that they do. Sorry to say it does not work like that. If it did, I would be a millionaire.
Therapy is like unravelling a big ball of jumbled up wool to get to a point where it is very manageable and it works easily. When faced with the ball of jumble, you look at what is presented to you, what are the pressing issues and start from there.
The role in therapy is to look at your internal world. Together explore the thoughts about a clients weight, body image and eating patterns. We explore everything that ties into your eating; patterns of behaviour, thought patterns, eating patterns.
The next step
The next step is to deal with the emotional side. The problem with having disordered eating, is that that way of eating blocks out emotions, though the feelings are still there, they are just buried. It is these feelings and beliefs that cause your eating. In therapy, the client can safely talk through these emotions as they surface by talking about past and present experiences and feelings. The therapist helps you to find out what these emotions are by asking you questions and rephrasing what you say. They ask you questions in relation to what you are experiencing and how you may have experienced something similar in your life. As the emotions surface and are dealt with, a sense of calm is achieved and the eating patterns are no longer a necessary coping mechanism.
The therapist can help you to swop some unhealthy eating to healthy eating so healthier choices are made. Overall, a therapist is a source of support that can help the client come to their own answers about how to deal with their very personal condition. It is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and a therapist will not enforce an eating pattern on you. It is down to the individual to change at their own pace. The key to recovery therefore, is to heighten and broaden awareness and insight, which leads to positive change and a rich, varied life.
What happens in a first session?
Each counsellor has their own way of starting therapy but a first session should always cover:
Your therapist should spend a few minutes introducing themselves and explaining how they work. You can ask them about their qualifications and experience, your therapy or anything you’re not sure about.
Your therapist may ask you if you would like to give a history of the problems you’re experiencing. They might want you to complete some forms, or go through information they’ve received about you, such as a letter from your GP. Or they may just ask you to ‘tell your story’. It’s important that you feel you’ve had the opportunity to tell the therapist about what’s troubling you.
Your therapist should agree the terms, or contract with you, about how they will provide their services. This may be either a verbal agreement or a printed document for you both to sign.
This first session is important for making sure that you feel comfortable with your therapist and their way of working. You don’t have to continue with a therapist if you can’t relate to them or don’t feel safe.
How does a therapist work?
A therapist will help you explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours so you can develop a better understanding of yourself and your eating patterns.
They will not give you their opinions or advice or prescribe medication. They will help you find your own solutions and ways of being and thinking. This will help you to make effective changes in your life, find ways of coping with stress and problems and find new ways of being to help you with your binge eating. I’ve gone through many years of training, not just understanding how the psyche works, but also on why food becomes a coping mechanism, why people have disordered eating and how to be with someone, how to give someone the space so they can trust me and know that whatever they say to me it will be met with empathy, compassion, curiosity and that I have their best interests at heart.
It is like having someone put their arm around you, saying I am on your side and lets explore this together so we can heal this together. You are not alone. Having also gone through therapy myself, I know with the right therapist it helps move your life forwards and move you out of funks and low points so you do come out of the other side with lightness and positivity with this new found confidence in yourself. I think it is one of the best things anyone can do for themselves.
How effective is it?
Binge eating Therapy is a two way street. The therapist is like the facilitator in the process to helping you change and find new ways of eating. The therapists job is to provide the right environment for trust and confidence. And to hold the space so you feel comfortable unloading what is on your mind. It is their job to help you uncover what is helping you.
It is your job to be open to exploring, to being open minded to what comes up for you. To make it work for you, you have to be prepared to work at it, to implement what you have learnt and to continue when the going gets tough. Finally be prepared and want to change. All of those conditions together, make it very effective at making it work. We are healing the cause.
How long does therapy take?
That all depends on your situation. How ingrained your disordered eating is, how much you are prepared to explore the causes and how much you are prepared to make the changes. I have had people start to change their patterns in 8 weeks. I have had some people stay with me for over a year. What I do say is that therapy is never a straight linear line of healing. There will be ups and downs as we uncover memories and or feelings and there will be many slip ups. The trick is to keep going and have faith you will get to where you want to be.
If you would like more information for where you can go for further eating disorders, see this link here. see this link.