Working with Bulimic Clients
There are many misconceptions about bulimia. It is a very hard subject for a bulimic individual to talk about in many cases, and one that permeates their entire personality. Should you have the opportunity to work with bulimic clients there are a few things to keep in mind. You will find a wealth of support information at http://www.bulimiagirls.com
1. Bulimia is a symptom of a deeper disease. There are other symptoms. These include addictions, self harm and depression.
2. It may not have a lot to do with weight. The bingeing and purging are simply means of expressing anxiety.
3. It not the fault of the bulimic. You would not blame someone for being diabetic. No one can blame her for being bulimic.
4. It is not simply about purging. Some bulimics never purge in their lives.
5. It is something that is deep coded into her - it is part of her nature. There are strong indicators that this is at least in part genetic. It is not her fault or her choice.
6. This need not be a negative thing. Her nature is one of extremes. She lives life to the full. Moderation is not something she is good at. This is true at work and at play. There are some types of work where this nature is a positive attribute when managed correctly.
Existing methods of treating bulimia have met with poor rates of success because of a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of the disease. Bingeing and purging is only one symptom of a much more complex issue. Existing methods of treatment often measure success as 'pounds gained' or 'did the person come back for further treatment - if not then we were successful'. Neither of these results are particularly relevant in the successful treatment of bulimia. When measuring success one has to look at many aspects of the bulimic character.
The experience of treatment centers that many bulimics undergo is one of humiliation. They are treated in much the same way as a drug addict with mental health issues. In many cases the client is treated in the same framework as a drug addict or alcoholic, which is generally inappropriate (though financially expedient for the provider). Often rehab is little more than 'containment'. The result is predictably a return to bulimic activity once treatment ends. Our approach is radically different from this shortsighted and demonstrably ineffective process.
A full treatment plan can be found at http://www.bulimiagirls.com/journey.html
Using hypnosis you can motivate the dietary shift, the motivation to sensible exercise and most importantly the management of anxiety.
If any therapists would like to contact me for further details about working with bulimic clients please go ahead, I am putting a brief guide together which you may find of use.
Rob Hadley CHt.,