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Binge Eating Disorder Counselling

Everyone overeats occasionally. We all take a second or third helping on a special occasion. We’ve all had an extra dessert on the holidays because they are just so delicious. But some people cross the line and develop a binge-eating disorder. A binge-eating disorder is an eating disorder where the sufferer regularly eats abnormally large amounts of food in and out of control way.

Anyone can suffer from a binge-eating disorder. Individuals often feel a deep sense of embarrassment and tell themselves that they will stop but have difficulty resisting the urges to continue bingeing. The great news is that there is help. Counselling can help clients to identify the habits, thoughts, triggers, and beliefs that lead them to binge; thereby helping them achieve a healthier and happier life.

Binge-Eating Disorder Characteristics

Quite a lot of people suffer from a binge-eating disorder and feel trapped in a cycle of poor eating habits, but there is help. Counsellors and psychotherapists can provide the necessary support that will help clients deal with the underlying issues that cause the control with food, which in turn will lead to a healthier relationship with food.

Individuals who suffer from binge eating exhibit many symptoms. Sufferers often feel out of control when they eat, eat abnormally large amounts of food, regularly eat alone, eat very fast when binge eating, and feel ashamed when the eating is done.  Binge eaters will sometimes eat when they aren’t hungry and go as far as eating until it hurts. They have little concept of being full, or why they actually started the binge in the first place. They diet frequently but cannot seem to keep the weight off and may be referred to as a yo-yo dieter. Binge eating clients may also have anxiety and/or depression and often feel alone, or indulge in other addictions or form of self harm.

If any of these symptoms describe you then it may be time to see a counsellor

Binge-Eating Disorder Treatment Options

When thinking about treating a binge-eating disorder it is important to note that there are options. Clients who binge eat will benefit from utilising a support system that can include medical professionals, counsellors/psychotherapists, family, friends, and mutual aid support groups such as OA (overeaters anonymous).

Some individuals with a binge-eating disorder will benefit from psychotherapy. The goal of psychotherapy will be to help them identify unhealthy patterns in life and find some new coping skills. Psychotherapy can be conducted individually or in group sessions. Psychotherapists use a different array of tools to help the client see their patterns in life, identify where they come from and learn new ways to cope with life instead of using food as a coping mechanism.

Behavioural weight-loss programmes may be a part of their journey, but only after the binge-eating disorder is treated, too much focus on weight or food becomes once again part of the problem.

Self-help strategies such as self help books, support groups and internet programmes can also be helpful, take any means of help you can get if your in the process of learning about yourself, but be careful not to get caught up in what everyone else wants for you.

How can counselling or psychotherapy help?

Counselling or psychotherapy can help by providing the sufferer with a safe, confidential, and supportive environment for them to address the struggles that have lead to their binge-eating disorder. The counsellor will help identify appropriate goals as well as the steps to achieve them. They will help the client to identify the emotions, thoughts, triggers and habits that lead them to binge eat and to make an honest appraisal of their history.

Through counselling the individual can build self confidence and learn to go a little easier on themselves. They will also identify healthy methods of nurturing themselves as well as positive coping strategies for times of stress. Coping strategies can involve physical activities (e.g. going for a walk, riding a bike, yoga, etc.), journaling, creative outlets (e.g. art, music, etc.), reaching out to a friend or loved one, or many other things.