Eating Disorders, Grief and Loss - General Family Systems

Eating Disorders, Grief and Loss - General

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.

Grief is a natural part of dealing with the loss of a loved one, or a situation, or a way in which we see ourselves. Loss requires that we change the way things used to be and find a new way to restructure our lives accordingly. It's common for people to fear change, particularly if a part of us, or a person we loved deeply, is no longer there. It leaves a gap that has to be filled, but nothing can replace the person who has left us behind.

People deal with loss in many different ways, but the desired end result is the same - trying to piece together the puzzle to the best of our ability, without the missing piece. We also go through the various stages of grief at varying speeds and intensities. Dealing with all the emotions that form part of grief is what makes support so very important.

Time is of the essence during the grieving period, and something we sometimes tend to rush. That's why it's so useful to speak to a therapist who does grief counselling during this time.

A therapist will help you understand that what you are feeling is completely normal and even expected. Medical professionals are aware of the wide range of natural responses to grief and loss and are generally reluctant to diagnose mental illness while a person is in a period of bereavement. However, if depression is present, medication is likely to be prescribed.

Grief therapy will help you to accept the loss and be able to talk about it without breaking down. You will learn to identify and express your emotions regarding the loss and learn to make decisions without your loved one.

If you are looking for a counsellor or psychologist does grief counselling to address your grief and loss you may want to search the directory to find a professional whose approach will suit you best.

Family Systems

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..

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

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

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