Eating Disorders Family Systems

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders comprise a range of attitudes and behaviors relating to food and body-image. The three main eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia, and ED NOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified). These conditions manifest to different degrees in different people and can sometimes be mistakenly judged as poor eating habits, or a lack of willpower.

People with eating disorders don't eat in harmony with their bodies' needs, instead, people with Anorexia Nervosa eat much less than they need, while Bulimia sufferers binge and then induce vomiting. They may also do other things to compensate for overeating, including exercising or fasting. ED NOS combines any combination of the other two conditions.

Apart from the physical symptoms and behaviors above, someone with an eating disorder will generally also have poor self-esteem and obsessively research or talk about food, dieting or exercise. Poor body image will cause them to either wear clothes that cover up every inch of their bodies, or flaunt  in order to attract attention. They will find it hard to accept criticism and compliments.

Therapy for eating disorders depend on the patient. While some people respond well to short term outpatient treatment, others respond better to long-term inpatient treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy are long term treatments that have been proven to be effective, while group therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapies and feminist therapies work for people who will respond well to short term therapy.

Family therapy is often advised for children and adolescents who are experiencing eating disorders. Research has also shown dialectical behavioral therapy to be effective.

If you are looking for a counsellor or psychologist who addresses eating disorders, you may want to search the directory to find a professional whose approach will suit you best.

Family Systems, Psychodynamic Therapy

Family Systems therapy is a type of counselling specific to helping interpersonal relationships within a family system. Family Systems counselling is facilitated by marriage and family therapists who work with the various family combinations, including siblings, couples, parent and child, or step families.

The principle of family systems counselling is to help each individual to first learn to understand his or her own emotions, and how to manage interpersonal relationships effectively, as that influences all future relationships. Once family members understand themselves and the emotional system within the family, it is easier to be flexible in relationships with family  members, marriages, community, school and other relationships.

If you are looking for a therapist who offers Family Systems Therapies, please browse our list of practitioners below..

Psychodynamic Therapy can help clients to become aware of feelings of vulnerability that have been repressed from their conscious awareness. This approach is based on the theory that every person has an unconscious which stores vulnerable and painful emotions that are too deep to handle on a conscious level.

Psychodynamic Therapy addresses the defense mechanisms that  have been developed. Defense mechanisms can sometimes do more harm than good. By resolving vulnerabilities such as repression and denial, painful emotions and memories can be processed in order for the defense mechanisms to be resolved, or reduced.

Therapists use a range of core principles in Psychodynamic Therapy, based on the client's needs. It will help the client to gain perspective while recognizing behaviours, actions, responses and character traits that can be transformed.

If you are looking for a therapist who offers Psychodynamic Therapy, please browse our list of practitioners below..

Note: You may narrow your search by selecting more than one filter below.

Martine Charles

Ph.D., RCC
I have close to 25 years experience in providing individual counselling to adult women and men. I offer counselling for a wide variety of difficulties including trauma (recent and past), anxiety, depression, addictions... Read more

Heather Bach

M.A., CCC
    • Blog on profile
For over 20 years, Heather Bach of Bach Counselling Group brings clinical expertise to working with those who wish to make a positive change in relationships, intimacy, depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, ADHD... Read more

Megan Sutherland

M.S.W., RCSW
Warm, accepting, inclusive and practical best describes my personal therapeutic style. I also place a high value on careful listening, empathy, professional ethics and accountability.  I believe that all people... Read more