Treating the Psychological Issues

Once the individual begins to normalize her eating, the predisposing and precipitating issues can be addressed.

Dealing with the individual’s poor sense of identity and hence poor self-esteem is of great importance. Some other common psychological themes which need to be addressed include:

  • Difficulties in independent functioning (which is often a consequence of a developmental crisis)
  • Psychologically traumatizing experiences of the past which frequently (but not always) involve sexual, physical or emotional abuse
  • Concerns about conducting intimate relationships
  • A tendency to perfectionism and control
  • Harmful beliefs and attitudes about one's worth.
     

Many individuals require that these issues are treated in therapy beyond the point of their initial recovery from the specific weight and eating problems. This will diminish the potential for relapse.