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Women & Young People


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Eating Disorders

Who gets it and why?

The people who are most susceptible to eating disorders are young women. Typically, they are very caring and selfless; acutely sensitive to others' needs. These people strive to be perfect and to protect those close to them, which in an imperfect world is doomed to failure. A trigger is taking responsibility for that failure and self-loathing for falling short of perfection. The internal identity is formed by others' perceptions leading to an under-developed sense of self.

What is it?

Anorexia and bulimia are driven by a separate negative and undermining mindset. It feeds on negativity, distorts perceptions and is destructive, hypercritical and self-negating, telling the self that they are a bad, unworthy person. It is like civil war with 2 minds warring inside. Their internal dialogue creates chaos and makes decisions difficult. Whilst under the control of the negative part, self is terrorised and paralysed, and prevented from reaching out for help. The negative part denies all forms of pleasure and anything positive that 'feeds' the self, including food. There is guilt connected to anything to do with food and the need to 'pay' for eating by punishing the self. Lack of nutrition leads to increased depressed feelings and loss of more control to the negative part.

How I work with Anorexia or Bulimia

Full recovery is possible! Get all the help and support you can. Some clients need more than the usual 6-8 sessions. To keep costs down, I sometimes have monthly sessions after the first few to support you to stay 'on track'.

  • The negative mind needs to be seen as separate and its distortions challenged. Write down the 2 dialogues if it helps. Understand its positive intention and its frailty - the negative part feels frightened of the world and an enormous responsibility to get things right. Thank it and reassure it that you are not angry, but that you have new and better ways of doing things. Negotiate with the disorder.
  • The goal is not to destroy the disorder, but to gently take back the power trapped in the behaviours of the eating disorder - to shift power back to the healthy self so it can re-integrate.
  • Understand and heal the original cause. Find new ways of coping with life and feelings.
  • Accept yourself as you are and stop aiming for perfection. Do not put yourself down if you binge - it is just one way of coping. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. Be kind to yourself - try to understand why you binged.
  • There is no 'right' way to do it. Find out what works for you by trying things out. Regain control of food and the feelings connected to it. Commit to a daily food plan. Temporarily eliminate foods that trigger binges. Do not skip meals. Reward behaviours you want to reinforce. Use distraction, particularly after eating.
  • Find and keep in touch with the part that wants to be healthy, and nurture this healthy self. Replace your motivation to be thin with a motivation to live a healthy, happy, binge free life, and positively reaffirm this aim regularly.

Useful web links:

William Gladden Foundation -

Eating Disorders Association - 0289-023-5959

Book by Matthew Campling: Eating Disorder Self-Cure - the Matthew Method. Available via

National Centre for Eating Disorders - 0845-838-2040


If you are unhappy about your body, take control today!  Call me on 023 92 733920
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