Body Image is how you perceive what you see when you look in the mirror. You may have either positive or negative thoughts and emotions based on your perception of your body and not necessarily the size and shape of your body. A person with a negative body image will view their body as disgusting and shameful and feel like a personal failure because of what they see. It is common to look in the mirror and think “I could stand to lose a few pounds”, or “I need to exercise”. But if those thoughts become all-consuming and start to make you feel awkward, embarrassed or reluctant to engage in activities, then you could benefit from improving your body image. Counseling can help you increase self-esteem and self-acceptance and develop the life habits that contribute to health and wellness.
Eating disorders are a disruption in healthy eating. Anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating are three eating disorders that can become life-threatening. Anorexia is characterized by extreme thinness, a fear of gaining weight, a distorted body image, and restricted eating. Bulimia is characterized by a feeling of a lack of control and of eating large amounts of food during those times. It is accompanied by some type of purging (vomiting, laxatives, excessive exercise). Binge-eating is characterized by the same feelings of losing control and eating large amounts of food but without the purging.
At PsychArizona, a thorough assessment will be conducted and referrals will be made for related services such as medication management and nutrition education or monitoring. We will then focus on cognitive-behavioral methods to manage life-threatening behaviors and then explore and examine the many facets related to the cycle of destructive eating, exercise, and purging. The end goal is to accomplish long-term balance of healthy exercise and fitness, healthy eating, and healthy self-image.