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!

Meet the specialists

Many of us started dieting at 10 or younger. But there is a different way, a way that can reconnect you to the wisdom of your body and free you to pursue your dreams. I help people find peace with their bodies using a non-diet, weight neutral approach to food based on permission, allowance, self compassion and trust. Together, we will explore your relationship to food and your body so that you can re-discover your own power and sense of self worth.

— Christina Wall, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Lake Oswego, OR
 

Most of us have felt, at one point or another, that our body's size or shape is somehow wrong. For those of us who identify as fat, or whose bodies are otherwise considered atypical, it can feel impossible to distinguish our authentic feelings about our bodies from the forces that profit off of our self-criticism. I approach our work from a fat-positive, all-bodies-are-good-bodies perspective that prioritizes individual bodily autonomy and experience.

— Abby Weintraub, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

Our society encourages us to feel bad about our bodies. Together, we will find ways for you to accept yourself as you are. I will encourage you to focus on what your body can do instead of what it “should” look like. I will support you in pursuing better health at any size while feeling happier in your own skin.

— Cindy Blank-Edelman, Mental Health Counselor in Cambridge, MA
 

We live in a society that is SO hostile toward those who don't fit the traditional ideal of beauty, which, let's face it, is most of us! I practice under the principles of Health-At-Every-Size and Intuitive Eating and strongly believe one's health is NOT determined by one's weight. I do NOT promote diets of any kind and work with clients to improve their relationship with food and their bodies as is.

— Jacqueline "Jackie" Abeling, Marriage & Family Therapist in Maple Grove, MN
 

Previously working with a non-profit eating disorder treatment, I learned the importance of prevention to reduce the need for intervention. Although body image issues are very common, those issues are typically rooted in emotions or situations that feel too difficult to face. Learning to identify painful emotions and work through them instead of pushing them aside can reduce the risk of developing more significant disordered eating beahviors later in life.

— Tiffany Medlin, Licensed Professional Counselor in Midlothian, TX

I help women, transfolk, POC, and fat people learn to cherish their bodies.

— Carolyn Moore, Counselor in San Francisco, CA
 

Most of us have felt, at one point or another, that our body's size or shape is somehow wrong. For those of us who identify as fat, or whose bodies are otherwise considered atypical, it can feel impossible to distinguish our authentic feelings about our bodies from the forces that profit off of our self-criticism. I approach our work from a fat-positive, all-bodies-are-good-bodies perspective that prioritizes individual bodily autonomy and experience.

— Abby Weintraub, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

Little...Big...Thin...Thick...Short...Tall...I treat them all! I work with my clients to move into a place of acceptance with their bodies. Clients may not "love" their bodies but they are able to start seeing their bodies in a new way. A new way that helps daily interactions feel easier. Clients start to feel the relief of joining forces with themselves in place of battling against themselves. The day is no longer spent on the comparison game with media, family, friends or peers. The day is spent appreciating the body just as it is. I practice from a HAES (health at every size) perspective meaning that my office is inclusive to all body weights, shapes and sizes. I want each client to know that I see them as they are and that they do not need to hide any more. I want to be there with folks who have never felt welcomed because of their size. You too, get to be in this world with the body you have been given. My practice is inclusive and open to those who want to learn more about accepting and appreciating their bodies just as they are.

— Erica Faulhaber, Licensed Professional Counselor in Lakewood, CO

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
 

Working from a Health at Every Size standpoint, I am here to help you unlearn all of the negative things society and the people in your life have told you about your body (and that you continue to tell yourself).

— Victoria Fisher, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Grand Rapids, MI

Body image is so integral to our sense of self, self esteem and mental health. I am certain you already know this if you struggle with ANY type of body image issues. Being uncomfortable in your own skin means you are unhappy or even miserable. Instead of being natural and relaxed, you are stiff and awkward. Wouldn’t you like to be at ease with yourself? Let’s work on this right away.

— Elissa Grunblatt, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Amityville, NY

We live in a society that can flood us with negative messages as to how our bodies are wrong. I work with clients to decrease shame and guilt around the body they reside in, and find safety and comfort in taking up the personal space you have the right to occupy

— Krystal Marcinkiewicz, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Beaverton, OR
 

I have struggled with being overweight almost my entire life. That said, after years of self-work, I am finally comfortable in the body that I live in, which is not the case for everyone. From this personal experience and providing therapy, coaching, and education to my clients that struggle with body issues, I know that whatever the client's best hopes for seeking my services can be met with understanding and full acceptance as they are right now, in this moment.

— Deanna Potts, Clinical Social Worker in Fort Worth, TX
 

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

Our society encourages us to feel bad about our bodies. As a fat woman, I know how difficult self-acceptance can be. Together, we will find ways for you to accept yourself as you are. I will encourage you to focus on what your body can do instead of what it “should” look like. I will support you in pursuing better health at any size while feeling happier in your own skin.

— Cindy Blank-Edelman, Mental Health Counselor in Cambridge, MA
 

The vast majority of adults (and many children) in the United States have some kind of disordered relationship to food and body. We're taught that the way we are isn't good enough and listening to our bodies' desires is dangerous. But many of us receive similar messages about all kinds of things. We're afraid to "take up space", use our voices, be free. Perhaps, your struggle with your body is a way you've learn to cope with not feeling good enough. We'll work together to understand the beliefs you hold about yourself and the world. We'll begin to bring these unconscious, automatic behaviors and reactions forward so you can choose other options. Over time, you'll feel more free and comfortable in your own skin. Depending on your needs, I may want to collaborate with a physician, Registered Dietician, and any other members of your care team.

— Lily Sloane, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

I have been doing Body Image based work for the last 6 years. I help clients examine issues surrounding weight, appearance, gender and gender related body issues, and race based body image issues so they can become a stronger more genuine and authentic version of themselves. In session we also examine the roles of power, privilege and perceived power and privilege and how that plays a role in their own self-esteem.

— Emily Reim Ifrach, Art Therapist in Watertown, CT
 

We live in a society that is SO hostile toward those who don't fit the traditional ideal of beauty, which, let's face it, is most of us. I practice under the principles of Health-At-Every-Size and Intuitive Eating and strongly believe one's health is not determined by one's weight. I do NOT promote diets of any kind and work with clients to improve their relationship with food and their bodies as is.

— Jacqueline "Jackie" Abeling, Marriage & Family Therapist in Maple Grove, MN

I work to create an environment of understanding and having a positive relationship with your body and your mind together, mental and physical health as one. Self esteem and confidence are often what suffer when we are challenged with negative body image and our mental and physical health decline. I work with a team of health related individuals to address all of these issues as well as working with you one on one or in a group formate to address the underlying beliefs that have formed a poor relationship with you and your body.

— Amanda Woodard, Licensed Professional Counselor in Centennial, CO
 

We live in a society that is SO hostile toward those who don't fit the traditional ideal of beauty, which, let's face it, is most of us! I practice under the principles of Health-At-Every-Size and Intuitive Eating and strongly believe one's health is not determined by one's weight. I do NOT promote diets of any kind and work with clients to improve their relationship with food and their bodies as is.

— Jacqueline "Jackie" Abeling, Marriage & Family Therapist in Maple Grove, MN
 

We all deserve to feel good about our bodies- but for many of us, that's complicated by years thinking or hearing that there's one right size or shape that we need to attain. I support you in sorting out diet culture programming from what's right for your health and well-being, and developing confidence and healthy habits that do not require a certain size.

— Abigail Thompson, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
 

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 society that is SO hostile toward those who don't fit the traditional ideal of beauty, which, let's face it, is most of us! Scientific studies have proven time and again that one's health is NOT determined by one's weight, but you'd never know it given mainstream media and the medical establishment. I do NOT promote diets of any kind and work with clients to improve their relationship with food and their bodies using the principles of Health-At-Every-Size and Intuitive Eating.

— Jacqueline "Jackie" Abeling, Marriage & Family Therapist in Maple Grove, MN