Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Jenny Rees Davies MBACP (Snr Accred), UKRC, Post Grad Dip Couns
4th November, 2009
Compulsive over-eating, bulimia and anorexia are some of the ways people take control of their bodies as a way of self-expression.
Anorexia describes those people, usually women, who are invested in not eating and have become scared of food and what it can do to them. Anorexia is about being thin – very, very thin. A woman who denies food is driven by the need to control her body which is a symbol of emotional needs. She cannot tolerate difficult feelings. She tries to gain control over her body and mind by creating an altogether new person and turns herself into someone she finds more acceptable. She gathers strength from the knowledge that she can ignore her needs and appetites.
The bulimic woman, unlike the anorectic woman, will eat in public. On the outside she may look just as she is supposed to, ie. slim but not emaciated. There is not the same announcement to the world that something is wrong. Her survival mechanism is the fact that she gorges and has a way of eliminating food. In her own mind she is getting away with something.
Counselling can help women become more aware of the triggers to their problem eating and understand where they come from. It is then that they will be able to consider change.
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