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Body Image Counselling

Take a moment to consider how many adverts regarding dietary products, or the latest exercise fads that you've been bombarded with recently. Consider also the escalation in health & fitness clubs in Perth alone; numerous "reality TV" shows on weight-loss; not to mention the "Extreme Makeover" programmes that abound.

A flourishing multi-billion dollar industry has sprung up in recent times, seemingly to assist us with our health and fitness concerns. Unseen however, is the ulterior motivation behind the cleverly focussed marketing, which capitalises on our body image and self-esteem insecurities.

What we don't hear: Statistics from professional Medical bodies and peer-reviewed journals* concur that some 90-95% of individuals who diet are unsuccessful in the long term. That is to say, the majority of persons who lose weight, regain the weight within 1 to 5 years.

So why...? It can be advantageous to view over-eating in much the same light as other maladaptive or compensatory mechanisms; not dissimilar to the over-consumption of alcohol. In most cases there exists a sound reasoning/origin for this self-destructive behaviour, albeit frequently at an unconscious or suppressed level. Consequently a failure to address the causation will invariably result in the rebound weight-gain borne out by the statistics.

Body image counselling assists in the discovery of one's true self-worth, self-respect, and bolsters self-esteem. Should over-eating be an issue, determining the origin/causation of this compensatory mechanism, will greatly minimise the chance of recurrence. Similarly, psychotherapy is an essential, very effective and long-lasting therapeutic intervention in the treatment & management of Anorexia Nervosa and/or Bulimia Nervosa.

*The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC); Arch Intern Med. 1996;156:1302-1306; The New England Journal of Medicine Vol. 332 (10) 673-674; American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 72. 1088-1094.

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