Therapy for Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders - Image (c) Ryan McGuire at Bells DesignWorking with eating disorders and body image issues is an area of therapy that requires specialist training and knowledge. I am very proud to hold the Master Practitioner for eating disorders and obesity qualification from the National Centre for Eating Disorders to work with the following conditions:

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Binge Eating Disorder
  • Night Eating Syndrome
  • Feeding or Eating Disorders Not Elsewhere Classified (FEDNEC – which is a catch-all term for other eating related disorders that don’t fit into the above categories)
  • Compulsive Eating
  • Body dysmorphia

Eating disorders are classified as:

  • Restriction of food/energy intake relative to needs (anorexia and sometimes bulimia)
  • Recurrent binge eating and/or uncontrolled eating  (bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder)
  • Compensatory behaviours, including self-induced vomiting, excessive exercising, misuse of laxatives (anorexia and bulimia)
  • Fear of weight gain and/or food and eating (anorexia and bulimia)
  • Disturbances in and preoccupation with body image (all eating disorders)

However, there are cross-overs between the conditions and sometimes behaviours can change over time meaning that a different type of eating disorder can develop. In fact, it’s not always helpful or relevant to have a diagnosis, as what matters is how the individual is affected.

Eating disorders and eating distress have an enormous psychological impact on sufferers and can dominate their lives.  At times it may feel as though the eating disorder is in charge.  Effects can be long term, recovery can be challenging and sadly, eating disorders have the highest death rate of all mental health conditions, often through suicide.   But people do recover and go on to develop healthy relationships with food and with themselves.

The condition may also have a dramatic effect on the sufferer’s physical health.  Abnormal food absorption – either too little or too much, or poor food choices – affects the body’s metabolic balance which can result in negative physical consequences, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, thryroid imbalance, infertility and physical damage to the digestive tract or teeth.

In short, eating disorders of all types seriously impair the physical and psychological health of the sufferer, and significantly affect their daily life, so specialist support is recommended to help the sufferer move towards recovery.

What sort of help do eating disorder sufferers need?

Firstly they need to be able to fully understand their condition, so treatment for eating disorders should have a psycho-educational component, which looks at the whole picture of what is going on for them, both physically and mentally.

Whilst there is seldom a single ’cause’ to an eating disorder, there are often predisposing and precipitating factors – the eating disorder specialist can help the sufferer to recognise and understand them.  We also look for perpetuating factors that have been keeping them stuck.

Nutritional rehabilitation is very important when addressing eating disorders as many of the symptoms and behaviours are caused or perpetuated by dietary distress.  An eating disorder specialist should be familiar with the nutritional basis of eating disorders as well as for recovery, and in some cases should work alongside a dietician or nutritionist to best support their client.  I have studied nutritional basics as part of my eating disorders and obesity qualification.

I have continued to keep my skills and knowledge in this area up to date, attending courses run by Kings College IoPPN and the Maudsley Hospital among others.

While undergoing treatment for an eating disorder, medical monitoring is essential, which can be carried out by the client’s GP or by a specialist eating disorder service. A good eating disorder therapist will be in contact with the client’s GP.  An eating disorder specialist must know when medical intervention is indicated and should be trained to look out for the signs and symptoms.

An eating disorder specialist will also be mindful of the systemic factors affecting their client, such as family situation and background, social situation, school, college or work.  These factors are all part of the complexity of an eating disorder.  In some cases it may be necessary to work with the client’s family.

In summary, there is no ‘quick fix’ therapy for eating disorders so it is important that good rapport develops between the client and the therapist, and that the work is thorough, courageous and supportive.

Please contact me if you feel that you or one of your loved ones may benefit from finding out how I can help with eating disorders or eating distress, or to book a confidential free assessment.


Posted in Anorexia, Binge Eating, Blog posts, Body Dysmorphia, Bulimia, Counselling, Eating Disorders, Health and wellness, Mental Health, Weight Management | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Therapy for Eating Disorders

Rapid Transformational Results with BrainWorking Recursive Therapy®

BrainWorking Recursive Therapy®, also known as BWRT®, is a modern and very effective type of psychological therapy based on the latest knowledge of how the brain works.  BWRT® helps people to change their thought and behaviour patterns when faced with certain situations or stimuli, thus allowing them to achieve desired changes to habits, behaviours, emotions or even sense of identity.

I am very pleased to be able to offer my clients access to BWRT®, which can be carried out either face to face or online¹.   I am an Advanced BWRT® practitioner, and was a founder member of the British BrainWorking Research Society, which was established to continue researching new methodologies and outcomes using BWRT® principles.

What is BWRT® and how does it work?
BWRT® is a talking therapy that involves no state change such as hypnosis or trance, nor does it involve any physical intervention or touch.  It is unlike any form of therapy you may have experienced before.  However is simple, safe and effective and often very quick.  You will work with a BWRT® practitioner such as myself who will help you to access and implement the changes you wish to  make at a neurological level, taking advantage of the brain’s plasticity (ability to change the way it processes information, thoughts or feelings).  This is all done by using your own creativity and brain power!  You will be guided through the process, which is relatively simple and fast.

What can BWRT® help with?
BWRT® can provide relief from a wide range of problems – from unwanted habits,  irrational phobias or fears to behavioural or emotional problems.  BWRT® can also help to address anxiety, performance or exam nerves. Advanced (Level 2) BWRT® can help to address more deeply ingrained issues related to how you see yourself (identity) including confidence, self-esteem, motivation or self image problems.

How long does it take?
Many people see good results following just one session; sometimes it takes a little longer, but rarely more than 2 or 3 sessions for an individual problem.  If the problem you want to resolve is more deeply rooted or is connected to how you see yourself, then I may advise using the Advanced BWRT® protocol (Level 2) which is a minimum 4 week programme with a session once per week.  Again, more follow up sessions may be required, but I will guide you throughout and let you know what to expect at all stages.

How can I find out more?
Just get in touch with me for a chat.  I’d be happy to answer your questions about BWRT®.  A BWRT® session costs the same as a counselling or hypnosis session (see my fees here) though results may be obtained more quickly.  If I feel that the issue you wish to address may not be suitable for BWRT® I will let you know and discuss other options with you.

Further information provided by the British BrainWorking Research Society:
BWRT® is a modern model of psychology and psychotherapy created by UK professional therapist, Terence Watts, MCGI. It uses a totally logical, practical and down-to-earth working method in which it’s not necessary for you to talk about anything you would rather not discuss – the practitioner only needs to know how you feel and how you would prefer to feel instead. BWRT® is unlike any other therapy you might have heard of or read about, using the latest discoveries in neuroscience coupled with your own unique brain processes to help you get better. Only Certified Practitioners have been trained to deliver BWRT® and all have to adhere to a strict ethical code. Find out more information on our website:

In this video Terence Watts MCGI talks about the discovery and development of BWRT®:


¹ I will advise whether or not it is suitable to work online, depending on your circumstances.  Online consultations will normally by by Zoom and clients must accept the potential limitations to confidentiality of using that platform.


Posted in Anxiety, BBRS, Blog posts, BWRT, Counselling, Depression, News, Phobias, Research, Self Esteem | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rapid Transformational Results with BrainWorking Recursive Therapy®

Afraid of the dentist? Try this!

Image: Shutterstock

I was recently at the dentists, having some pretty invasive work done – you know the type – root canal work, large syringes and all sorts of other tortuous looking instruments! The treatment lasted for about an hour.  Personally I don’t usually have much problem with dental work, I’m usually able to take myself off in my mind so that I hardly notice what’s going on. However on those occasions that the work has gone on for some time and been fairly complex – I admit that at times I’ve felt pretty uncomfortable.   And so I was expecting some discomfort and anxiety this time.  However, it was completely different on this occasion – and not because the treatment wasn’t difficult, it was purely down to the way I coped with it.

My dentist normally talks through the whole procedure, giving a commentary both for my benefit, but also for his nurse, but to be honest I normally don’t pay much attention.  But this time it turned out that at one point that he was trying to get my attention to ask me to do something – and I was so far away, the nurse had to physically shake me to get my attention!  Yes I was miles away and hardly aware at all of what was going on.  Even on previous occasions when I’ve used self-hypnosis in the dental chair, I’ve never before achieved that level of ‘trance’, which is what I believe it was.  When I “came to” there I was with clamps and dental pliers sticking out of my mouth that I’d been completely unaware of!  That suction thing (that I normally find pretty unpleasant) was doing its job quite happily, without my even noticing it.

Yet curiously, when I asked myself what I HAD been focused on instead  – the answer was not waterfalls, a walk through a meadow, or a tropical beach  or any of those things that traditional hypnotherapy recommends, no…. I was completely and utterly absorbed by thinking about my plans for later that day!   Work, to be precise.  Yes, dull I know!

Now I am aware that other Hypnotherapists may say that this isn’t helpful; that we should take our mind away from reality,  to “a safe place”  – or some imaginary fantasy.  But on this occasion I discovered that my more practical daydreaming was the perfect distraction to take my mind off what was going on.   To the degree that I hardly felt a thing, and the hour was over in a flash!  At the end of the appointment my dentist complimented me on my relaxed demeanour and how well I’d coped with what he said was a tough treatment session.

However I do admit that probably the most uncomfortable part was the injections at the start – probably because at that stage I hadn’t yet taken my mind far enough away.  But I do find that dental injections are much easier to cope with if you allow yourself to become curious about the sensation.  Because when you are more receptive to it, the sensation is not particularly painful – I’m sure we all undergo much more painful things in our lives, such as, in my case, standing up in heels for a whole evening!  The sensation is a bit odd and uncomfortable, but on a scale of 1-10 pain wise I’d put it no higher than a 3 or 4.

So,  next time you’re about to have some dental work,  why not try being curious about the injections, and then allowing your mind to drift to thinking about what you’ll be doing later in the day, or other future plans!  It seems to work for me!


Posted in Blog posts, Health and wellness, Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, Phobias | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Afraid of the dentist? Try this!