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

Let's be real, who doesn't have some sort of body image issue in this world? For some, this issue can go much deeper and impact self-esteem and self-worth. I have experience treating individuals with body image issues, body dysmorphia and body dissatisfaction. My approach to treating body image issues includes reducing shame related to weight and appearance, increasing body acceptance, challenging your inner critic and practicing self-compassion.

— Kaitlin Stone, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

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

My area of research and training has centered on eating disorder, eating disorder recovery, and, mostly, on body image. Body image impacts not only the way we view ourselves but influences how we communicate and make connections.

— Cayla Minaiy, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in SEATTLE, WA

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

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, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Rancho Cucamonga, 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 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

Contributing to the exciting emergence of women and men reclaiming their body sovereignty is Sydney's passion. She has developed a framework for healing that embraces self compassion, mindfulness and discernment in order to foster unconditional positive regard for the self and the body. Body Sovereignty offers freedom from feelings of body shame and a sustainable energy to our efforts for better health and wellbeing, at any size.

— Sydney Bell, Psychotherapist

We will work together to help you find peace with food and your body, once and for all. I operate from an anti-diet, Health at Every Size framework in order to dismantle the harmful impact of diet culture, to help you reconnect your body and mind, and discover what truly nourishes your soul. I am currently working on becoming a certified Intuitive Eating counselor.

— Shelly Annameier, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern in Fort Collins, CO

I meet my clients where they're at and take into consideration what their goals are. We may approach body image from a variety of directions: body neutrality, body respect, body trust, body acceptance, body kindness, body functionality, body appreciation, and body love. Together we work to redefine what body image is because positive body image has more to do with being respectful and compassionate towards our bodies than liking how they look.

— Molly Bahr, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Miami, FL

I cannot think of one woman in my life who has not been affected deeply by the pervasive diet culture that cloaks our culture. Often the internal battle around body size, food, body image, and loathing begins before puberty and it often feels like it might be there until the end. WAIT. What if it didn't have to be that way? What if you could find peace with yourself - beyond having a 'good' eating day, a perfect workout week or a smaller pair of pants? It is possible. Yes, even for you!

— Katie Ballard, Marriage & Family Therapist in Kansas City, MO

Self esteem and body image are pillars of eating disorder work. I love helping people find acceptance of their bodies and themselves.

— Allison Puryear, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Asheville, NC

Experience working in eating disorder treatment centers serving all levels of care. Well versed in intuitive eating, HAES, and body neutrality work.

— Hillary Boykin Smith, Counselor in ,

Body image issues can stem from many places in a persons life. Trauma and grief themselves can cause a film to develop over a persons image of themselves causing a skewed view of who they actually are. In other words, painful emotions are often the cause of what we see on and in ourselves. Cultural components and unrealistic standards also play a role in body image issues. I am here to walk beside you as you learn to love yourself again and begin to see your beauty shine through.

— Sarah Glidden, Counselor in Portland, OR

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

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

​Your mind and body are both impacted greatly by what and how you eat. I am a Certified Nutritionist (CN), which allows me to explore nutrition, eating patters, body image, and other related topics with my clients. Currently I do not provide specialized nutrition services, but I love and am passionate about exploring general nutrition strategies and topics surrounding food and body. I'm highly influenced by a Health At Every Size (HAES) approach.

— Jesse Spivack, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

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

My work with clients is a Health At Every Size informed practice, and is inclusive of all bodies. So many people, especially people of size, experience daily struggles navigating the world in the body they live in because of weight stigma, fatphobia, and patriarchal constructs. I work with clients to challenge these oppressive systems and help them to develop a more compassionate, empowered relationship with their body.

— Sarah O'Keefe, Counselor in Kansas City, MO

I believe that the relationship with our bodies is the most significant in one's life and the greatest service I can provide is to help people learn to respect, respond to, and care for the body that holds them.

— Alison Boeke, Counselor in Seattle, WA

I am a committed Healthy at Every Size (HAES; practitioner who works with body dissatisfaction and intuitive eating. HAES therapy is anti- "diet culture" and believes all bodies are worthy of love, pleasure, and justice no matter size, shape, color, age, or ability.

— Charis Stiles, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Oakland, CA

I work together with clients to unravel negative thought patterns, shift harmful and compulsive behaviors, and to find a sense of resilience and self-esteem throughout their journey. In order to shift towards a more positive and loving body image, we must start with negative self talk, harmful behaviors, and find different coping skills to deal with the stress and pressure of our family, friends, social media, and the world at large.

— Erica Christensen, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA

Along with my training in OCD, I also have received training in the treatment of Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

— Kristin Fitch, Clinical Psychologist in Metairie, LA

I work with clients using a Health At Every Size (HAES) approach 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

I am a committed Healthy at Every Size (HAES; practitioner who works with body dissatisfaction and intuitive eating. HAES therapy is anti- "diet culture" and believes all bodies are worthy of love, pleasure, and justice no matter size, shape, color, age, or ability.

— Charis Stiles, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Oakland, CA

For the past five years I have worked in eating disorder treatment with individuals, adolescents, and families struggling with eating disorders and body image issues. I have worked at the out patient, Intensive Out Patient, Partial Hospitalization, and Residential levels of care. As a result, I consider myself to be a clinician who is able to work with clients where they are at, as well as support them in getting ready to transition to lower levels of care and back to being able to more fully participate in their lives. I also currently give a presentation on Body Image and the Media that explores the media's affect on the way we experience beauty ideals and body image.

— Ashley Ellis, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

I have advanced training and experience in providing psychotherapy to clients who are struggling with disordered eating and negative body image. My approach includes working with individuals, couples and families to create the support needed to defeat self destructive thoughts and patterns of behavior. From a body positive lens, we explore how to shift self judgement toward self acceptance and commitment of health at any size. Recovery is possible!

— Jennifer Rickard, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA

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