Teen Eating Disorder Counseling in Boulder and Longmont
Does your daughter seem preoccupied with her weight? Does she exercise compulsively or skip meals often? Has she lost or gained a significant amount of weight in a short period of time? Do you find candy wrappers hidden in her room? Does she spend an unusual amount of time in the bathroom or take showers regularly after your family meals?
If you answered yes to any of these questions your daughter might be showing symptoms of having an eating disorder and early treatment is key. The longer an eating disorder goes untreated, the more advanced it is likely to become and the more difficult it will be for her to achieve full recovery. The therapists at Colorado Women’s Center are here to help.
The three teen eating disorders that exist today are Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorder (BDE). Anorexia is recognized as prolonged periods of restricting food intake and overexercising. Bulimia involves a cycle of restricting food intake followed by binging and purging behavior. Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by regular overconsumption of food. While they present differently, girls exhibiting any disordered eating behavior are all suffering from shameful self-limiting beliefs about the body, low self-esteem, and an inability to tolerate uncomfortable emotions. Eating disorder behaviors can also indicate the presence of a mood or anxiety disorder, like OCD. As an eating disorder progresses, people begin to wall off the world and socially isolate. In a stage of development where identity is built through social engagement, this can impede your adolescent daughter’s growth into healthy adulthood.
It might come as no shock to you that the rate of Eating Disorders in the US has risen in girls aged 15-19 in each decade since the 1930s. Every day, teens see thousands of images of “perfect bodies”. What their growing brains don’t yet understand is that these images are not an accurate representation of the feminine body. The images we see today are designed and edited by companies to foster feelings of inadequacy in those who see them. If you don’t feel good enough then you are more likely to buy the product that “they” tell you will make you look and feel better. And the vicious cycle of body shame and self-hatred continues. The consequences of this marketing style are now seen in our younger girls. Studies show that 42% of 1st-3rd graders want to be thinner, and 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. This reality can feel devastating and the therapists at Colorado Women’s Center understand the complexities that come with the recovery of an Eating Disorder.
At Colorado Women’s Center, we are committed to helping your daughter recognized the false nature and impact of these cultural messages about her body. We will explore with her the self-limiting beliefs about her weight and body that perpetuates her suffering. She will learn skills to self-soothe her intense emotions, and understand that when treated properly, mood and anxiety disorders don’t have to run her life. Ultimately she will begin to see how her uniqueness is a gift, and she will learn that by sharing her gifts with the world, she will begin to make a positive impact on others.
Girls recovering from disordered eating need mothers and female role models to model a healthy relationship of acceptance for her body. The challenge is that 95% of women report having shame about their body. The therapists at Colorado Women’s Center recognize the systemic nature of this issue and will provide comprehensive support and tools for both mother and daughter to grow into acceptance of their bodies. We offer parent coaching sessions, individual adolescent therapy sessions, mother/ daughter therapy sessions, and Girls Empowerment Groups.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our Boulder and Longmont, Colorado locations.