What are psychological body image issues?
Body image issues are far from mere vanity. A person might benefit from psychotherapy if she is unable to view her body clearly and irrationally fixates on perceived imperfections in appearance.
People with body image issues might obsess over their weight, their hair, or the shape of their facial features, even when no one else can see anything wrong. They may resort to costly and unnecessary cosmetic surgeries to “fix” one flaw only they can see, then turn around and become consumed by some new perceived imperfection.
Problems with body image can sink a person’s self-esteem since they tie their worth to their appearance but find it wanting. Sufferers may spend hours in front of a mirror, at the gym, or perusing dietary supplements. Some avoid social situations out of fear that someone else may notice a flaw or due to exhaustion, anxiety, or depression.
All these concerns begin to infringe on a client’s ability to enjoy life and fulfill their school, work, and personal obligations.
Body image issues often accompany eating disorders, though not necessarily. A psychological condition known as body dysmorphia describes some of the symptoms, but therapy can help treat these issues whether or not a person has an official diagnosis.
Psychotherapy for body image issues
A counselor can help someone with body image issues determine the roots of their insecurity. These issues may be caused by feelings that they do not have control over some part of their lives, so they attempt to rigorously control their appearance. In other instances, a client may be unsatisfied with some other aspect of their life and shift the focus onto their outward appearance.
An experienced counselor can help clients rewire their brains so they begin to notice when they are perceiving their bodies irrationally and judging themselves too harshly. The next step is to redirect these negative thoughts to more realistic and affirming ones.
A therapist can also help instill healthy eating and exercise habits and treat substance abuse, which sometimes accompanies problems with body image.
Correcting false beliefs about one’s own appearance takes patience and work. A counselor may enlist the help of loved ones or of a support group with people facing similar issues. However, with time, clients can learn to be kind to themselves and love themselves inside and out.
Schedule an appointment with the MindSol Wellness Center for counseling for body image issues in Sarasota, FL
MindSol counselors can help people struggling with body image issues regain their self-respect. If you or someone you love is having trouble, call our Sarasota, FL office at (941) 256-3725.