Eating Disorders, Gender Identity Issues Internal Family Systems

Eating Disorders, Gender Identity Issues

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.

Gender identity issues can make a person feel that nature has played a cruel trick, leaving them living in a body and role that is contrary to what they feel inside. However, as society becomes more accepting of gay and lesbian individuals it is also becoming much easier for people to admit that they are transgender than ever before. However, therapy can help people with gender dysphoria to cope with gender identity issues.

Most people with gender dysphoria prefer the term transgender as they deal with the social expectations of living a life that is authentic to their own emotions while conforming to their birth gender.

Whether you are confused about the possibility that you might be transgender, or whether you have accepted the reality, it is a good idea to speak to a therapist. If you are considering gender reassignment surgery, therapy will help you prepare for the psychological impact of the decision.

Living in your gender of choice will take a lot of courage, as well as some experimentation. You will have to learn how to find a congruent appearance, and explore different ways for you to present your body so that it relates to your true gender.

Counselling from a therapist trained in gender identity issues will provide a nurturing and non-judgmental environment for you to explore your emotions, fears and feelings regarding what is happening for you.  Individual and group therapies are common for gender dysphoric patients, while family therapy can help foster better communication, and understanding. Family therapy can help deal with conflicts that can arise from gender dysphoria.

If you are looking for a counsellor or psychologist who offers gender identity counselling to address your gender dysphoria issues you may want to search the directory to find a professional whose approach will suit you best.

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Ailey Jolie

MC, RCC
I am passionate about embodiment. About supporting others to live fully and wholly within the wisdom of the body. This is mirrored in my work as a trauma therapist and disordered eating specialist, yoga and meditation... Read more