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I know what it’s like to be in the grip of an eating disorder – I’ve been there. For three long years I battled with anorexia, plagued with thoughts and feelings that prevented me from eating. So when I say that I understand what you are thinking and how you are feeling…I really do. I know how frustrating and frightening and utterly exhausting it can be to fight a constant battle inside your head, and to feel as if you are getting nowhere, even though you desperately want to be rid of it and get better.
It was through Cognitive Hypnotherapy that I recovered. When I first met Trevor Silvester I was at the stage that I didn’t really care whether I lived or died. After my first session with him I came out with a glimmer of hope that perhaps this could work. To my knowledge, I was the first case of anorexia he had worked with, and so over the course of 18 months we worked together, learning and growing and improving. I truly believe that without Cognitive Hypnotherapy and Trevor, I would not be here today. I’m really glad that I am, because now I use my personal experiences and my professional knowledge to help other people through the hell of an eating disorder… and out the other side. I am now fully recovered and a mother to three gorgeous daughters (whom I was told I would never be able to conceive because of the damage I had done to my body), and I am extremely proud of what I have achieved.
Conventional medical treatment for eating disorders is usually solely centred on changing the person’s behaviour with regards to food (ie: getting them to eat more and put on weight, or stop purging), without trying to understand what’s going on in their head. I’ve seen clients who have been in and out of eating disorder clinics – putting the weight on while they are in there only to lose it rapidly as soon as they are discharged.
My approach is different. I believe that actually eating disorders aren’t really about food. On a surface level they might be, but underneath the restricting, the calorie counting, the exercising and all the other behaviours that you do, there is usually a much bigger issue – low self esteem, feeling worthless, feeling unloved, and feeling as if you aren’t good enough.
So at the beginning of our work together I’ll be looking to understand the reasons behind why you are ‘doing’ this behaviour. You might not consciously know what they are, and that’s ok – we’ll explore it together in a way that feels safe and comfortable for you. Once we’ve worked on resolving the underlying issues, we’ll work on helping you to build your feelings of self confidence and self worth, until we get to the third stage, which is where you’ll begin to feel ready to start making changes of your choice at a level and rate that you are ok with.
Eating disorders are complicated, and everyone experiences them in a different way – there is no ‘one size fits all’ process that works. All the work I do with you will be individually tailored to your specific needs, circumstances and goals.
Eating disorders also place a great deal of strain on the carers, family and friends of the person struggling. Because of this, I am always happy to offer free telephone and email support to parents/partners of any clients I see (keeping in mind that all client’s details and case notes are kept strictly confidential.)
If you are worried that you, or someone you know may be struggling with an eating disorder, and you would like a free no-obligation chat about how I may be able to help, please feel free to contact me.