Eating Disorders and Body Image
When working with clients or family member of clients with eating disorders, my role is to help identify needs and provide system navigation and support. That frequently involves collaboration with family doctor, psychiatry and/or referral to eating disorder treatment programs. I am very clear with clients/family members that eating disorders are a medical issue, that require at minimum, family doctor monitoring for weight loss, vitals and other health risks. When working with adolescents, I provide evidenced based supports in collaboration with family, family doctor and other treatment providers. Sometimes adolescents use this as a ‘step-down’ support from more intense treatment, or I can provide a ‘step up’ to treatment while they are on a waitlist for more intense supports. I work from a Maudsley based approach (see book recommendations) with adolescents and family members, orienting the client/family to the treatment interventions they will experience in hospital based treatments. Often I’ll work more with family members, coaching them on Maudsley interventions with their adolescent.
Body image is an issue that impacts many people. Often adolescence and pregnancy/postpartum can be particularly difficult to navigate for women. When working with body image, you can expect a supportive environment where individual concerns are linked to societal expectations of thinness and beauty. We will also talk about your lived experiences in your body and what messages you have received. We will use cognitive behavioural approaches to address underlying thinking patterns that impact how you feel about yourself, determine if there are emotions that need to be more fully explored or made explicit that can sometimes get numbed or pushed down through a focus on the external. We will address any interpersonal dynamics that impact your wellness or mental health. We will take an integrated approach to this issue to help shift how you relate to your body, and the world around you.