Body Image Issues

Body image is how you see yourself when you picture yourself in your mind or when look in the mirror. Most people worry about how we look occasionally or see at least one aspect of our physical appearance we don’t like. But for some, these occasional thoughts can become frequent and disruptive. People with negative body image issues may avoid social situations and experience problems in relationships, depression, anger, anxiety, isolation, self-loathing and/or an obsession with weight loss. Body Dysmorphic Disorder (or BDD) is one example of a body-image disorder, characterized by persistent and intrusive preoccupations with an imagined or slight defect in one's appearance. The good news is that body image can be changed and BDD can be treated. Contact one of TherapyDen’s body image issues experts for help today!

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Healthy Body Image is not popping out of bed to wink at yourself in the mirror with a narcissistic grin. Just like feelings about anything else, how we feel about our size/shape/body parts fluctuates, for better or for worse, due to lots of factors. But how able are you to ACCEPT yourself physically right now? Your body IS what it is right now- whether that's optimal in your opinion or not. It is much easier to change, grow, and improve, when we can accept what currently exists.

— Kathryn Gates, Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX

The goal of CBT is to reduce preoccupation with perceived flaws and help the individual in treatment to develop a more realistic and positive perception of the body. CBT often involves psychoeducation, which aims to help individuals become aware of the nature of body image and of the role that certain factors play in the development of their personal body image. In therapy, individuals may be encouraged to engage in self-monitoring, often by keeping a diary, in order to become more aware of both the negative and positive thoughts and emotions regarding their body, as well as the factors that trigger them. As the therapist, I use cognitive restructuring, to help clients modify thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that may be unhealthy, and clients may become better able to accept and love their bodies as a result.

— Amy Castongia, Counselor in Huntersville, NC

We live in a culture that actively tells us to change our bodies to be accepted. Often we started learning these beliefs at a very young age from our caregivers and the grown-ups around us. Those early experiences ingrain in us, ways of looking at ourselves and making sense of how we are perceived in the world. With support and compassion, it's possible to regain a sense of trust in yourself and to reconnect with that innate wisdom our bodies hold.

— Sarah Jane Thomas, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

Our society sends us many messages about what it is to be healthy and attractive. Learning to love and accept ourselves for who we are is not only a personal journey but one that often involves pushing against these messages of society. Being happy in our own bodies these days is no small task, I am there to help you voice and navigate your struggles with being happy in your own skin.

— Stephanie Boulton, Counselor in Longmont, CO

I have been studying and treating disordered body image for most of my career and have been personally interested in fat positivity and body liberation for over a decade. I think that your relationship with food and movement and your relationship with your body often go hand in hand, and I integrate various methods of healing these relationships as we move towards body acceptance (or neutrality if that works best for you) and building a life of meaning, connection, and joy.

— Summer Forlenza, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in , CA

I am a Health At Every Size advocate. Through journaling exercises and exposure exercises, I help womxn become more comfortable with their bodies. I help clients shift the focus from what they hate about their bodies to what amazing things their bodies do for them. I also work to challenge the unrealistic, Western, thin ideal that has become such a dangerous but predominant narrative in our culture.

— Amanda Wetegrove-Romine, Psychologist in San Antonio, TX

I strongly believe that there is a body image crisis in our culture, manufactured by the media, beauty companies/advertisers, diet culture, and the patriarchy. I am a fat-positive therapist who has studied the work of Lindo Bacon (Health at Every Size, Body Respect) and is part of a community of therapists committed to body acceptance principles for clients of all body types. If you have struggled with feeling worthy in your body, I would be honored to walk the path to healing with you.

— Cristina Cousins, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in St. Louis, MO

Shifting perceptions of self can be hard and often takes personal commitment, self-compassion, and the willingness to step outside of one's comfort zone. Utilizing a person-centered and holistic approach, I work with clients, meeting them where they are on their journey, to develop reasonable and achievable treatment goals.

— Erica Zapata Gonzalez, Clinical Psychologist in Modesto, CA

Body-oddy -oddy. Let's talk about your relationship with your body without shame. What are your desires? What brings your body pleasure? Fat-bodied individuals are made to feel that what they have to offer is directly tied to a number on the scale. But your value, desirability, your strength, and your creativity are not determined by your weight. There is pride at every size and there is Health at Every Size.

— Arianna Wheat, Creative Art Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

I work with clients to develop a positive body image and form self-nurturing patterns regarding food, eating, movement, and sexuality. In my work, I encourage clients to challenge all forms of oppression. These include oppressions around race, gender, and sexuality as well as about the body.

— Kaye-Ailsa Rowan, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Jose, CA

Too often we are told we are not good enough and we need to change how we look, sound, move etc. Entire businesses run on making us feel less than. In such a cultural environment, being ourselves fully and unapologetically is the best revolution we can engage in. I work with clients using tenets of HAES and Intuitive Eating to create tailored programs of radical self love and body diversity.

— Neil Panchmatia, Counselor in Portland, OR

Body image is defined as the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions we have about the body we live in. Unfortunately, we can be our own worst critics and fall into a pattern of telling ourselves some pretty harmful things. Many of us begin this at an early age, which makes it challenging to stop the self hate patterns alone. It takes some work, but healing your relationship with your body is possible. I would love to hear from you if you’re ready to take action.

— Ceara Cuthbertson, Psychotherapist in Boone, NC

Weight-neutral, Health At Every Size aligned approach to body liberation

— Heidi Andersen, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor in Asheville, NC

Teens often go through a lot of changes in their body as they grow. And given the constant social pressure of fitting in and limited knowledge around how the body functions, get stuck into unhealthy patterns around food/exercise and weight. I help them focus on learning to love themselves while learning intuitive eating strategies and importance of giving fuel to body for a healthy life. I focus on health at every size (HAES).

— Runjhun Pandit, Counselor in Redwood City, CA

I am here to help you be out in the world making a difference instead of gazing in the mirror hating yourself. I work with clients recovering from various types of eating disorders. Whether you are still active in your ED or are looking for maintenance therapy, give me a call to see how I can help.

— Sarah Almaqousi, Marriage & Family Therapist

You were not put on this planet to diet. Or obsess about your weight, or to lose weight, or hate yourself because you don’t look like a photoshopped model, or to loath yourself. You have such a larger contribution to make in this world. I see you, I know you, because I am just like you. Inner Life is a safe place to explore different ways to think and feel about your body. There is way more to your life then what your body looks like. Let's reveal more of of it!

— Christina Wall, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in , OR

I have 8 years of experience and training in treating body image issues and eating disorders in a variety of clinical settings. I completed my dissertation on the familial influence on body image development and health behaviors and have extensively studied the impact of peers and media as well. I am passionate about helping clients understand the roots of our body image crisis in the US, such as white supremacy, the patriarchy, and pedophilia, to see the unique beauty of their body.

— Alexa Barnes, Psychologist

I am a Health at Every Size (HAES) practitioner and a fierce advocate for body acceptance and liberation. I believe all bodies are good bodies, regardless of size, shape, or ability.

— Kirsten Cannon, Counselor in Memphis, TN