Eating Disorders

EATING DISORDERS

Counselling and Psychotherapy for Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge-Eating Disorder.

If you are looking for counselling or support for any form of eating disorder, we can help.  Our Counsellors/psychotherapists are fully qualified and have experience working with all of these issues.  In a safe and confidential environment, we aim to establish a trusting relationship with clients which facilitates easing distress and bringing about positive change.

MYTHS Vs REALITY OF EATING DISORDERS

One of the most common myths about eating disorders is that they are about food, or weight.  This is not the case.  Eating disorders are a way of coping with difficult feelings and emotions.  A person engaging in abnormal behaviour around food or weight, is doing so because they are trying to avoid dealing with something else. It is usually very difficult for someone with an eating disorder to talk about their problems with others.  The first problem is not being able to talk about their feelings or emotions when something upsetting or difficult happens.  When the eating disordered behaviour gets out of control, it’s hard to talk about that.  Sufferers feel ashamed and guilty.  A common personality trait that is associated with eating disorders is being a ‘perfectionist’ or high achieving.  Clients often talk about being the one that others turn to for help and advice, being seen as strong and able to cope.  This makes it even harder to reach out to friends and family for help and support.

SYMPTOMS:

Skipping meals, eating substantially less than usual, vomiting or taking laxatives after eating to “purge” the food from the body;

Compulsive overeating ,being unable to stop eating, hiding food or eating in secret when nobody else is around;

Bingeing on food, this is planning and arranging to spend time alone and eating abnormally large quantities of food in a short period of time;
This may or may not be followed by vomiting – “purging”, or over-use of laxatives or diet pills;

Engaging in over-exercising, e.g. exercising for long periods every single day or exercising several times each day, planning schedules around exercising,  getting stressed or anxious when planned exercise sessions are missed;

Lying to friends and family about eating and/or exercising;

Obsessively measuring or weighing the body, constantly making unfavourable comparisons with other people about size;

feeling ugly and worthless because of weight or appearance, or having a distorted view of the body, i.e. imagining the body is larger than it actually is.

PSYCHOLOGICAL SIGNS:

Withdrawal from friends and family;
Feelings of depression;
Feeling worthless, or useless;
Feelings of anxiety;
Mood swings;
Lack of control or feeling out of control;
Difficulty expressing emotions or needs to others;
Low self esteem;
Feeling disconnected from self and others.

Eating disorders are complicated and are made more so because they can be kept secret for a long time.  The longer it goes on, the harder it is to change.  Eating disorders are also very dangerous and they are life-threatening in the longer term.  Our bodies are very adaptable, and they will do everything they can to keep working, but continued abuse over a long period will slowly break down your body, causing severe damage to your organs and bodily functions. Treatment of an eating disorder should therefore be a combination of psychological and emotional help, and help with the physical problems that have occurred as a result of the disorder.Anyone suffering from an eating disorder will have a significant impact on their family and friends, whether or not it is acknowledged or recognised.

WHY/HOW DOES SOMEONE GET AN EATING DISORDER ?

Eating disordered behaviour often starts as a result of an upsetting or difficult experience, that the person finds hard to cope with.  Common triggering events are bullying, a death in the family, stress and pressure due to exams, criticism about weight or appearance, a separation or any other significant event that affects someone emotionally and is hard to deal with.  The person may not ever have been good at expressing their emotions or admitting to other people that they are struggling with something.   People who worry about what other think of them instead of being able to stand up for themselves may be more likely to experience an eating disorder.  Teenagers are particularly vulnerable, because of the pressure at this time in life to conform, to be the same, to look like everyone else.  Added to this is the pressure on teenagers from parents to succeed, to do well in exams, to manage their behaviour and conform to parent’s beliefs and expectations.  Eating disorders do not start out as a conscious choice and are not a willful form of ‘attention seeking’.  Rather, they come about slowly as a coping mechanism the person uses to help them feel more in control, or as a way of avoiding dealing with other, more difficult issues.

Eating disorders help sufferers feel “safe”.  The structure and set of behaviours involved give a sense of control and purpose, and a sense of achievement when they succeed in ‘not eating’, or losing another pound in weight, or vomit up every meal they’ve eaten in a day.  The behaviours serve an important purpose for the person, so it is understandable that they do not let go of them easily or without a fight.

HOW CAN WE HELP? Counselling and Psychotherapy for Bulimia, Binge-Eating and Anorexia

Being able to ask for support, tell people how you feel, and admit that you are struggling sometimes, are new and difficult behaviours, but they are part of the journey towards a life free from eating disorder.  Counselling can help in overcoming an eating disorder.  Having an independent, objective person to guide and support you through the process of recognising why the eating disorder came about and working on changing how you deal with emotional events, can be very beneficial.

At Sandyford Wellness Centre all of our Counsellors and Psychotherapists are fully qualified and experienced in their areas of expertise.  As well as offering individual therapy, we also offer an Online CBT Based Program for Bulimia and Binge Eating. Click here to learn more about our Online Eating Disorders Program.

Emma Murphy, formerly of Sandyford Wellness Centre and an Eating Disorders Specialist Psychotherapist, now has a practice in Douglas, Co. Cork. To make an appointment for Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder or Anorexia Counselling in Cork, please visit www.counsellingcarecork.com to arrange a consultation with Emma.

Fionnuala Darcy

BA (Hons) Psych, Chartered MCIPD,QMIGC,GMPSI, MIAHIPFionnuala Pic

Prof. Cert CBT, Master Practitioner in Eating Disorders

I have been working as a Psychotherapist since 2007 and am fully accredited with IAHIP (Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy)

I hold an Honours Degree in Psychology from Trinity College and a Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. I’ve also completed specialist training in Eating Disorders, Nutrition and Obesity. I also hold a professional certification in CBT.

I work with adults on a one to one basis helping them deal with in a wide range of issues. My expertise is particularly in the areas of eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating); obesity; anxiety, depression; low self-esteem; personal identity and personal growth and development.

Core to my approach is working collaboratively with clients in a gentle way and meeting them where they are at. I believe this helps to bring about change in their own personal lives allowing them to reach their full potential. Fundamental to achieving this is a safe environment where there is no fear of being judged or criticised.

Before undertaking a career in psychotherapy, I worked for many years in Human Resources. My experience of working with people who had issues in their work and personal lives greatly helped me develop in the field of psychotherapy. Combining my experience as a HR specialist and Psychotherapist, I draw on a variety of different practical life experiences and therapeutic approaches.

Sessions last 50 minutes and the fee is €60.  Please call me directly on 086-6064111.

Other areas of study includes:

  • Reality Therapy
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Qualified to administer and score Psychometrics (Levels A & B)

 

Barbara Doyle MIAHIP                                                                 Barbara Doyle       

B.A., H. Dip Community & Youth Work, Professional Diploma Counselling & Psychotherapy

Areas of speciality: eating disorders, childhood abuse, rape, trauma and bereavement work

Contact Barbara directly on: 086 171 9192

Barbara is an accredited Psychotherapist with the Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy (I.A.H.I.P). She trained with Dublin Counselling & Therapy Centre and works from a humanistic and integrative perspective. Barbara has over 14 years experience delivering therapeutic work to adults, teenagers and families in her work within child & family services, as well as the community and voluntary sector.

As the former Development Director of Bodywhys, The Eating Disorders Association of Ireland (2001 – 2004), Barbara has a particular interest in working with people experiencing eating disorders and also adults who have experienced abuse in childhood. Barbara offers clients a range of supportive and gentle ways to explore their experiences and feelings including bodywork, art, guided meditation, ritual etc. Her primary aim is to create a genuine person to person relationship with the client built on respect, equality, honesty and freedom.

Roisin Moriarty MIACP, MACI

Roisin is a fully accredited member of the Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and Addiction Counsellors of Ireland (formerly IAAAC). She graduated from PCI College with a BSc (Honours) in Counselling and Psychotherapy.   Roisin has also specialist training and experience in the area of Eating Disorders (Bulimia, Anorexia and Binge Eating Disorder). More recently she has trained in the area of Bereavement, Suicide and Loss and works with a local Bereavement Support Service.

Drawing from her training in Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Spirituality, Meditation and Mindfulness, Roisin works from a person centred, non directive approach, integrating other practices depending on the needs of the client. She holds the belief that every client has the ability to heal and make positive changes in their lives and the role of the therapist is to encourage and facilitate change. She also works from an holistic approach taking in to consideration the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs of the client. Her background is in addiction, mainly in a residential setting with considerable experience working with families affected by addiction.

Her earlier career was spent working in the private sector particularly in the area of Human Resources and Recruitment working for both large and small organisations in Ireland and the UK.  Her background in Human Resources has provided her with great insight into the various difficulties and challenges an individual can experience in their working environment and the affect it can have on their well-being.

Roisin brings a wealth of experience to her work here at the centre and her approach is person centred with an emphasis on self awareness and self healing. Other areas of specialism include depression, anxiety, stress, low self esteem, body image and identity issues.

Sessions last 50 minutes and the fee is €55.

To make an appointment please contact Roisin on 087 9754827 or email rmoriarty39@gmail.com or email via our contact form.

To make an appointment with one of our counsellors  simply email us via our Contact Form.

Your first session establishes the exact nature of your problem and explains the process and commitments.   If you need help other than eating disorder counselling we will refer you to an appropriate agency/counsellor either within or associated with our centre.