Eating Disorders

Anorexia, Bulimia and other eating disorders, including body image obsessions can be helped by Hypnotherapy.

About one in 20 Australians has an eating disorder. Eating disorders describe a range of problems associated with eating, food, and body image. Unfortunately, in our society it is common for individuals to feel unhappy about their bodies and to be dieting and worrying about food. When these problems are extreme or interfere with an individual’s normal activities and quality of life, these concerns are considered to be psychological disorders.

Anorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder, which is characterised by dangerously low body weight. Bulimia nervosa is not so frequently life-threatening but seriously affects the well-being of the person and can have serious medical complications. This condition is characterised by binge eating and subsequent behaviours that are engaged in, to compensate for the binge. Many individuals suffer from other equally unhealthy and life disturbing patterns of eating, which are not easily classified. These are known as eating disorders not otherwise specified.

Eating disorders mainly affect females and approximately one in ten people with an eating disorder is male. A support team is the ideal way to approach long term healing. Hypnotherapy has been shown to be a very useful part of this support team approach. Results vary from person to person.

Individuals with an eating disorder have significant challenges with eating habits, weight management practices and thought/beliefs about weight and body shape and image. These eating related thoughts, beliefs and behaviours are often felt as-

  • Low self esteem depression, shame and guilt.
  • Obsession and anxiety.
  • Not being able to eat or stop eating.
  • Dieting, binging and purging.
  • Interference with normal daily activities- missing study days etc.
  • Alienation from self and often social withdrawal.
  • Physiological consequences, which can be potentially life-threatening.

What Causes An Eating Disorder?

There are many suggested theories of the factor involved in the development of eating disorders, but there is no single consensus in the cause. Most research acknowledged that the development of eating disorders involve a complex set of interactions between cultural, social, family, personality and physical factors.

In addition, feelings of inadequacy, depression, anxiety and loneliness as well as family issues and personal relationships may also contribute to the development of an eating disorder. Dieting, binging and purging are sometimes the result of looking for relief of painful emotions and in the desire to gain control of their lives. In most people experiencing an eating disorder the individual will have negative core beliefs and thoughts about themselves that can trigger the disorder.


These negative thoughts and beliefs can be changed. Those with an eating disorder are likely to hide their problem from others and often find it difficult to recognise that they have a problem that requires help. The first step therefore is to recognise the problem. Hypnotherapy can be used to help the person suffering from an eating disorder by  identifying the root cause of the problem for the individual, so that the emotional aspect can be dealt with. Negative thinking and behavioural patterns can be looked at and more positive habits can be learnt. Hypnotherapy can improve self confidence and self image so that the person is able to view themselves more positively.

Hypnosis can be a part of your support.

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