Body Image

Body Image is something that is affecting a growing number of young girls although it is not exclusive to the female of the species. Boys can be affected too. Often it is triggered by an event or series of events and unpicking that can be very time consuming but it has to be done to make any changes permanent. We can deal with the immediate issue... but it works better if we find the start.

"she rather enjoyed the attention not only of her parents"

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Body Image is something that is affecting a growing number of young girls although it is not exclusive to the female of the species. Boys can be affected too. Often it is triggered by an event or series of events and unpicking that can be very time consuming but it has to be done to make any changes permanent. We can deal with the immediate issue... but it works much better if we find the start.

A young girl came with her mother she was ten years old and the issue they brought to me was described as a throat swelling, when eating. This had been investigated by several medical specialists over a period of about 18 months. The 'story' began when the girl choked on peas which cause a throat to swell and a spell in hospital until the sewlling recuced during which time she lost quite a bit of weight. She had been a very active girl but could be considered 'well covered' not fat or really overweight but something that we used to call puppy fat in years gone by.

The mother was very clear that the peas had caused the swelling 'reaction' and that the young girl was experiencing intermittent throat swelling after eating and no-one could find the cause. She was also having nightmares. 

In the first session we dealth with the nightmares and a short hypno session aimed at getting the body not to react badly whilst eating. I had a suspicion that I had not really gotten to the bottom of things as the mother tended to give all the answers. Anyway on the second session, the nightmares had improved but the 'swellings' had not. I unfortunately had to insist that the answers came only from the girl and indeed had to ask Mum to leave briefly as it was clear that although the girl was opening up... there was more.

It turns out that after the first episode and her hospital stay, she had rather enjoyed the attention not only of her parents (she was the middle of three) but her school friends and family who all commented how much better she looked having lost a bit of weight. This then turned into a mission... afterall she had the solution .. her Mum readily accepted that her throat was causing her problems with food..the nightmares were actually just another way of her confirming to her mother that this horrible thing with her throat was real.

In this case CBT brought out the reality of the situation. So I spoke to Mum on her own and explained what I had learned and we both talked to the girl about eating sensibly and how to do that without starving herself .. and tried gently to move towards healthy food choices.

I made a cd to really fix this in her sub conscious which I thought was important to avoid any potential danger of other eating/attention issues as she grew up.

With Mum fully informed after a few weeks things were vastly improved and much happier for the whole family.

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