Overcome Your Struggle with Food and Your Body

Are you consumed with thoughts of
food and weight?

Are you constantly obsessing about your body?

If you have problems with food or have an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia, you are also probably having difficulties with your relationship with yourself and others.

Do you resonate with any of the following?

  • Use food to fill feelings of emotional emptiness.
  • Eat too much or starve yourself as a way of coping with stress.
  • Use food to comfort hurt feelings.
  • Feel guilty or anxious about what you’re eating.
  • Over-exercise or don’t exercise enough.
  • Find your body repulsive.
  • Obsess about your weight.
  • Feel unworthy or not good enough.
  • Use laxatives or vomit if you eat too much.
Unhappy girl with an eating disorder weighing herself on a scale

 

If you can relate to any of the above eating or body image
problems therapy can help…

Poor eating habits can be a way of coping with difficult emotions. However, poor eating habits come with a price. They prevent you from feeling good about yourself and from finding ways to fulfill your deepest needs. They dominate your life and wreak havoc in your relationships.

Eating disorders and poor eating habits become a vicious cycle: 

The worse you feel, the more you engage in bad eating patterns, the more you eat or starve yourself, the worse you feel.

Oftentimes therapy is the only solution to helping you overcome your eating disorder or unhealthy ways of eating.

You Don’t Have to Suffer Alone Any Longer

Recovery from an Eating Disorder Due to Gina’s Skills and Patience

When I first met Gina I was full of pain, fear and guilt. I was very untrusting and I was full of self-hate. My recovery from alcohol abuse and my eating disorder have improved with Gina’s help. Gina helped me to recognize old and not very useful coping patterns and to replace them with new ones.

Even though Gina was met with resistance from me, she was able to establish a bond of trust, whereby I could start to really look at these areas with her support. With her guidance I feel safe enough to honestly explore old behaviors, without guilt or shame. Since I did not feel judged, I was able to look at old behaviors and start to look at new coping skills as a replacement.

Gina provided major support during periods of self-hate in our counselling sessions. She encouraged me to continue to work on myself and reinforced a new way of thinking. She supported and helped to strengthen me to develop a completely different way of “being”. Today, I am able to try new ideas and suggestions without fear of persecution if I fall back on my old behaviors.

Therapy Can Help You Overcome Destructive Eating
Behaviors and Feel Good About Yourself

Benefits of therapy for problems with weight and eating disorders:

Happy woman after she's received counselling help
  • Learn mindful eating and end the diet roller coaster.
  • Develop more self-compassion.
  • Overcome exercise-avoidance or over-exercise.
  • Learn to love and accept your body.
  • Identify and resolve underlying unmet needs.
  • Learn coping skills to deal with personal and societal stressors and difficult emotions.
  • Develop more positive thinking around your weight, food and body image issues.
  • Develop healthier ways of being with yourself and others.
  • Develop greater self-esteem and confidence.

Therapy can help you develop healthier ways of eating and coping with your feelings. You can discover how to feel good about your life and your body. Through therapy, you can better meet your unique needs for safety and security in ways that are life-affirming. You can replace shame with dignity, self-blame with affirmation, self-criticism with self-respect. You can face your “Internal Critic”, and develop a “Nurturing Inner Parent” to care for your authentic self. These are essential tools for recovering from issues related to eating.

 

Why Am I the Eating Disorder Therapist For You?

As a therapist, I have specialized in eating disorders and disordered eating for over 20 years. My Master’s thesis in counselling psychology addressed overeating, anorexia and bulimia and how these develop in families with problems.

In addition, I know what you’re going through. I have recovered from my own problems with eating through counselling and 12 Step Programs. My personal experience helps me understand how deeply eating problems can affect you. It also allows me to help you find your way to overcoming them. 

With my specialized therapy skills and your willingness to overcome your problems, you can heal from your unhealthy patterns of eating and preoccupation with body shape. You can get past weight problems once and for all.

Ending the Binging-Purging Cycle

Through our therapy sessions Gina has guided me through discovery work in order to break the cycle of binging/purging and alcohol abuse. She encourages self nurturing in replacement of self-criticism. With Gina’s counselling, I am now more able to listen to my body, able to identify triggers and trust myself. Now I can take preventative actions with new behavior instead of resorting to binging and purging or alcohol as a way of coping.

I am now more confident and able to assert myself and my needs. I can now focus on my feelings and I have free choice to take action instead of just falling into the whole self-defeating cycle. Attention is given to communication skills and setting boundaries.

Gina is a wonderful counsellor and human being. She has been instrumental in my recovery, not only in my addiction problem, but as a person, a mother and a woman.

As a therapist, I use a full range of proven and researched therapy approaches for eating disorders and issues around weight and body image including:

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing – works to help you resolve old trauma, build new skills and end the diet-binge cycle. 

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy – works to reshape your unhelpful, irrational thoughts and to make more realistic and rational ones.

Relationship Therapy/Family of Origin/System Dynamics – looks at the roles, rules and dynamics in your family that may be hampering your wellbeing. 

Harm Reduction and Body Image Healing – works with where you are now and helps you love and appreciate the body that you have.

Couples Counselling – helps develop supportive, authentic, fulfilling relationships during and after eating disorder recovery.

Mindful Eating learn to eat when your stomach is hungry and stop when you are full. Eat what your body wants and end the “good food”/ “bad food” debate. Be aware of eye hunger, mouth hunger and return to your natural eating instincts. Treat yourself with loving-kindness.

 

“…employs his mind as a mirror. It grasps nothing;
it refuses nothing. It receives, but does not keep.” –
Taoist Saying

Respect, compassion, authentic connections with yourself and others, as well as active self-care are the cornerstones of recovery from eating problems. My counselling approach includes care and attention to biological, psychological, social and spiritual aspects important to healing.

If you or someone you care about is suffering in this way, the right therapy can allow you to come out from under the “weight” of secrecy and shame into a new sense of optimism, self-worth and fulfillment.

Call me in Vancouver, BC at 604.733.7428 or email me at gina@ginavanderham.com to set up an appointment for a free consultation to see how I can help.