Eating and body image disorders are numerous. How can they not be, given the often image-driven society in which we live? Perfectionism, low self-esteem, shame, a feeling of being out of control, a history of abuse: all of these can and do give way to disordered eating and/or an overly critical sense of one’s body.
While some eating disorder cases call for in-patient treatment, much therapeutic work can be done in the counselor’s office. The counselor works with such clients to rediscover how to listen to their bodies’ natural hunger and how to feed that hunger without experiencing a frightening lack of control. Accepting oneself and letting go of perfectionistic thinking and behavioral patterns are among the goals of counseling for clients who restrict their food intake, over-exercise, or view their bodies in a critical, self-defeating light.