Eating Disorder Treatment
Is a preoccupation with food and weight consuming your life?
Have you been struggling with an eating disorder? Do you feel ashamed about your body, disliking what you see in the mirror? Are thoughts about your appearance or relationship with food so consuming that you find yourself avoiding people and certain environments as a way to cope with your anxiety?
Maybe you’re constantly trying to control your food intake via restricting, bingeing, over-exercising, or purging behaviors. Perhaps you’ve developed a fear of certain foods along with a strict regimen of rules to follow when you eat. In your head, maybe you’re constantly adding up the calories from every meal you have.
Your relationship with exercise may have also become disordered, making you feel like you can’t take a day off from the gym. Yet no matter how hard you try to regulate your diet or change your body, your efforts are never enough. You still feel a deep sense of shame about your body and your attempts to lose weight don’t make you feel better. Deep down, you probably wish there was someone in your life who could help you heal your relationship with your body and maintain healthier eating habits.
If this is the case, we encourage you to pursue eating disorder treatment with us. Here at the Boston Center for Health Psychology and Biofeedback, our goal is to help you overcome feelings of shame and experience unconditional love for yourself. Whether you suffer from anorexia, bulimia, food addiction, binge eating, orthorexia, or any other eating disorder, we are confident that treatment can provide the support you need.
People Who Struggle With Eating Disorders Are Often Profoundly Misunderstood
There is so much shame and misunderstanding surrounding eating disorders. People with eating disorders are often told to “just eat more” or “stop obsessing over your weight,” as if they can magically turn off their struggles at the flip of a switch. It’s challenging enough to take the first step of acknowledging a problem exists, let alone letting others in on the details of what your personal experience is like.
The truth is that food-related mental health issues are incredibly complex. They appear to be primarily about food, but they’re so much deeper than that. Eating disorders often stem from trauma, loneliness, low self-esteem, and other emotional issues that lie beneath the surface of unhealthy behaviors.
Weight Loss Has Become An Idol In Our Society Today
Our society has an unhealthy obsession with thinness and weight loss. We see weight bias all over billboards, social media, and fashion ads. Parents, doctors, and athletic coaches often encourage children to lose weight and praise them when they do.
It’s no wonder millions of people grow up tying love and approval to weight loss and believing that changing their appearance will resolve deep emotional issues. We live in a society that glorifies diet culture and reinforces fatphobia by normalizing unhealthy eating habits.
Eating disorder counseling from the Boston Center for Health Psychology and Biofeedback is a chance to stop comparing yourself to others and understand that your worth as a person does not depend on your weight.
Treatment Can Help You Overcome Your Eating Disorder and Live With More Freedom
Eating disorders can be very lonely and isolating. In the past, you might’ve gone to great lengths to hide your disorder. At social gatherings with food, you might’ve told people that you just weren’t hungry rather than explain the real reason you wouldn’t eat. Or maybe you skip these events altogether to avoid the pain of feeling judged by others. All of this is very understandable—few people know how eating disorders really work.
At our Boston, MA clinic, you have the chance to work with a therapist who is knowledgeable about eating disorders and seeks to provide a refuge from shame, guilt, and fear. You therapist is not going to judge you or tell you to just eat more. Instead, they will offer compassion, validation, and encouragement. We want you to be kind to yourself as you work on the brave task of creating a better life for yourself.
What to Expect in Sessions
Working together, we will help you address the deeper issues driving your eating disorder, such as guilt, anxiety, or low self-esteem. We will identify the triggers that reinforce disordered eating and challenge the barriers to recovery. We’ll also explore how your eating disorder prevents you from living fully and provide a healing space for unpacking the emotional issues beneath your struggles. The long-term goal is not only to heal your body and body image, but to resolve the emotional issues you’ve been avoiding through your eating disorder behaviors.
Moreover, we recognize the importance of a larger support network. In addition to helping you expand your connections, we would love to collaborate with any specialists you are currently working with.
Tailoring Your Eating Disorder Treatment Plan
Our practice draws from a wide variety of approaches, but when it comes to eating disorders, we use an emotion-focused approach along with Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This approach can help you recognize the connection between thoughts, emotions, and eating habits. Instead of immediately pushing down your feelings or ignoring them, you will learn to acknowledge what you feel and be more present with all your emotions.
For instance, maybe you have a tendency to binge-eat when you feel upset. We want to help you identify the feelings that cause you to binge-eat. This way, you can learn to cope with difficult emotions adaptively rather than turning to unhealthy eating habits.
With our support, we are confident that we can help you begin the lifelong journey of self-compassion and self-acceptance. Your value as a person is not tied to a number on a scale. We want to help you disengage from the nagging voice in the back of your head that tells you to obsess over calories, weight, and decisions around food. This way, you can experience more freedom in your choices and regain the energy to take part in life again.
You may have some concerns about eating disorder treatment…
Will I have to eat foods that I don’t want to eat?
You get to lead the way in therapy—we will never force you to do anything. We will collaborate with you and your dietician to develop an individualized meal plan and gradually introduce certain foods. We’ll also work with you on coping skills to reduce the fear and shame associated with eating those foods. The goal is to move at a pace that’s comfortable for you and help you identify the difference between eating disorder habits and genuine dietary needs.
Will my therapist judge me because of my eating disorder?
Our therapists do not see eating disorders as something to be ashamed of. After all, you are not at fault for your eating disorder. Instead, we believe that you have the power to set yourself free from the pain this disorder has caused. We are here to help you tap into that power and provide kindness, compassion, and understanding along the way.
If I stop trying to control my weight, won’t I just feel worse?
Part of the problem with eating disorders is that physical undernourishment and over-nourishment cause emotional issues. So while it may seem like losing weight is good for you, it can actually make your mental health worse. We want to help you improve your physical health needs (feeling safe, getting adequate sleep, consistent eating, etc.) so that your emotions become easier to manage.
Your Worth Is So Much More Than A Number On A Scale
If you want to stop defining yourself based on your relationship with food and weight, we encourage you to connect with us. To get started, you can email us, use the contact form, or call 617-231-0011 for a free, 15-minute phone consultation. We look forward to supporting you in your journey towards full recovery.
At the moment, due to COVID-19, we are offering a mix of telehealth and in-person sessions. We will do whichever option you are comfortable with!
We are located in Boston, MA, in Post Office Square, in the heart of the Financial District. We offer teletherapy appointments and in-person appointments, adhering strictly to COVID-19 precautions. Click here to read more about scheduling and payment options.
Boston Center for Health Psychology and Biofeedback was founded by Dr. Inna Khazan, an internationally recognized expert in the fields of biofeedback and mindfulness. Our talented and dedicated team now also includes Jenae Spencer, LMHC, an experienced therapist and trauma specialist.