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    How EMDR Can Help in Treating Eating Disorders

    A woman covers her face while bowing her head. This could represent the stress of past trauma that an EMDR therapist in Palm Beach County, FL can help address. Learn more about EMDR in Palm Beach County, FL by contacting a binge eating therapist in Delray Beach, FL today. Introduction

    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an evidence-based and very effective treatment for trauma. As a clinician who specializes in eating disorders, I have found that it can be highly beneficial in treating eating disorders in many ways. Roughly 30 million people in the United States meet the criteria for an eating disorder and it has the highest mortality rate of any mental health condition. Therefore, it’s important for clinicians like myself to do everything in our power to treat these conditions comprehensively.

    11 Facts About Eating Disorders | DoSomething.org

    The goal of treating any addiction, including eating disorders and body dysmorphia, involves addressing underlying traumas that may contribute to the development and maintenance of these disorders.

    Here are some ways that EMDR can help individuals with eating disorders:

    1. Addressing Trauma

    EMDR is effective in processing traumatic memories and experiences that may be linked to the development of eating disorders. Unresolved traumatic memories from the past can manifest through disordered eating behaviors such as binge eating, purging, compulsively exercising, or restrictive eating. Often, eating-disordered behaviors are a coping skill to address shame and control issues following painful and traumatic events. By targeting and processing these traumatic memories using EMDR, individuals can work through the root causes of their eating disorder symptoms.

    2. Resolving Emotional Triggers: 

    A top down of a table filled with food as people dish up. Learn how a binge eating therapist in Delray Beach, FL can offer support with overcoming past trauma and eating disorders. Search for eating disorder treatment in Delray Beach, FL and how EMDR in Palm Beach County, FL can offer support.

    EMDR helps individuals identify and process emotional triggers that contribute to their disordered eating patterns. By working through these triggers in a safe and controlled environment with a trained therapist, individuals can develop healthier coping mechanisms and responses to emotional distress, reducing the reliance on maladaptive eating behaviors.

    3. Changing Negative Beliefs: 

    EMDR can assist in challenging and changing negative beliefs individuals hold about themselves, their bodies, and food. Many individuals with eating disorders struggle with distorted body image perceptions and self-esteem issues rooted in past experiences or traumas. Through the reprocessing of negative beliefs and experiences, EMDR can help individuals develop more positive self-perceptions and attitudes towards food and their bodies.

    4. Promoting Healing: 

    EMDR promotes healing by facilitating the integration of adaptive information processing related to past traumas. By reprocessing traumatic memories through bilateral stimulation techniques, EMDR helps individuals create new associations with past experiences, leading to reduced emotional distress and improved overall well-being.

    A person balances on one foot in a yoga pose as the sun rises over the beach. Learn how mindfulness techniques can help overcome the stress of past trauma. Contact an EMDR therapist in Palm Beach County, FL can help address. Learn more about EMDR in Palm Beach County, FL by contacting a binge eating therapist in Delray Beach, FL today.

    5. Enhancing Self-Awareness: 

    EMDR therapy increases self-awareness by helping individuals recognize how past traumas impact their current thoughts, emotions, and behaviors related to food and body image. This heightened awareness allows individuals to make conscious choices about their actions and responses, fostering greater control over their eating disorder symptoms

    6. Planning for the Future: 

    EMDR can also help prepare for future situations in which food can be uncomfortable, whether it be restriction of calories, purging when feeling full, avoidance of certain fear foods, or binge eating.

    Final Thoughts

    EMDR therapy offers a comprehensive approach to treating eating disorders, beginning with the formative traumatic experience that fuels maladaptive relationships with food and body, and ending with preparing the individual for future encounters and helping them to instill healthier coping skills.

    Start Working With an EMDR Therapist in Palm Beach County, FL

    Working with an EMDR therapist can offer support in addressing eating disorders and coping with past trauma. Our team of caring therapists would be honored to support you from our Palm Beach County-based practice and across the state. You can start your therapy journey with Mangrove Therapy Group by following these simple steps:

    Other Services Offered with Mangrove Therapy Group

    EMDR therapy isn’t the only service our team offers. Mangrove Therapy Group is happy to offer support with a variety of mental health services including trauma and PTSD/C-PTSDsubstance use disorderseating disordersbody image issuesanger managementanxietylow self-esteempersonality disorders, and much more. Please feel free to learn more about how we can support you. We also offer support with addictions such as process addictionsgrief and loss“Failure to Launch” syndromeCBT, and DBT. Feel free to learn more by visiting our blog or FAQ page to learn more today!