Eating Disorders, Perfectionism Psychodynamic Therapy

Eating Disorders, Perfectionism

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.

Perfectionism is considered as a personality trait among many mental health practitioners.  Perfectionists tend to view projects or tasks that are not perfect done, as unworthy. Unless they know that they can do something perfectly, they are unlikely to take it on. They tend not to care much about the learning process while completing a task, but rather about the end project, which, for them, is the most important aspect of any project they undertake.

Procrastination is a great obstacle with people who are perfectionists. They usually don't want to start a task until they are sure that they can do it perfectly. It's common for them to spend an enormous amount of time on a project, making sure that it is done to perfection. Yet, perfectionism prevents these people from appreciating a job well done. Instead, they don't believe that anything they do is good enough and they constantly compare their results with that of other people. They become fixated on achieving perfection.

There is a correlation between perfectionism and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and some perfectionists also have OCD.  However, not all people with OCD are perfectionists. While most people with an ambition to succeed and therefore strive to excel in their pursuits, they are not necessarily perfectionists.

Therapy can be very helpful in treating perfectionism. Therapy will help the individual to reframe their thinking to change the end goal of his or her undertakings. A therapist may often help perfectionists recognize that some of the most successful people are not perfectionists at all.

If you are looking for a counsellor or psychologist who offers therapies to address your perfectionism or OCD issues, you may want to search the directory to find a professional whose approach will suit you best.

Psychodynamic Therapy

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..

Karen Ergas

Ph.D., R.Psych
Dr. Karen Ergas is a registered clinical psychologist with over 20 years experience working with individuals who have eating disorders. She worked at St. Paul's Hospital Eating Disorders Program from 1994-2011.... Read more