In response to the number of women and men struggling with eating distress who find it extremely difficult to ask for help, Emma Murphy, Counsellor/Psychotherapist at our centre, has developed an online, self-help program that anybody over the age of 18 can purchase and work through safely and confidentially.
Emma works with clients struggling with Bulimia, Binge-Eating and Anorexia, both in a group setting, and individually. It was through running her group over the past two years in Dublin that Emma realized how difficult it was for clients with Eating Disorders to come forward and ask for help, and in particular for men with any form of eating distress or body image issues.
Clients with Bulimia, Binge-Eating Disorder and Anorexia tend to have a similar personality type. They tend to be perfectionistic, high achieving and think in a very black and white, all or nothing way. Clients also tend to be seen as the ‘strong’ person in their family or social group, the person everyone else turns to with their problems. It is therefore very difficult for them to admit that THEY have a problem, and most clients have an absolute fear or dread of appearing vulnerable or needy to people in their lives.
Through working with the clients who did make it into the group, or into individual therapy, Emma began to realize how big a barrier this fear really was for clients struggling with food and/or their body image, and she decided then to adopt her group therapy sessions to an online format, so clients could access the information safely and confidentially at home.
The programs are media rich, using a combination of Therapist delivered psycho-education, downloadable written exercises, and feedback from our ‘Virtual Group’, which reflects real client feedback in our real groups in Dublin. We believe the online programs are an effective and practical first step towards understanding more about your eating disorder, what purpose it serves in your life, and can begin to give you other options.
The program will not ‘cure’ you of your eating disorder, or make it go away, but they will give you some time and space to reflect on how you are currently living your life, and we hope you will begin to see an alternative way of living, without your eating disorder. After that, it’s up to you.
Our Programs aim to give client’s practical guidance and strategies to:
• Reduce negative behaviours like bingeing, purging, restricting food intake, over-exercising
• Understand what drives these behaviours and begin to address the real issues
• Improve assertiveness and communication with others
• Begin to address unresolved issues and messages from early family experience* (if relevant)