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

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

I am passionate about helping individuals heal their relationships with food and with their bodies. My eyes are wide open to the damaging effects of diet culture on our society’s mental health and well-being, and there is nothing I enjoy more than journeying with people as they release the negative effects of diet culture and body shame move towards living an embodied life, feeling free to live and move and love in the exact body they have today. I work from an Intuitive Eating framework and am on the path to becoming a certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. If you are ready to release the shame and experience a positive, loving relationship with food and with your body, contact me today.

— Kristi Hall, Counselor in Saint Paul, MN

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

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 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

It can be difficult to look in the mirror on a daily basis and dislike what you see. I work from a body-positive approach by helping clients accept and love their natural shape! No two personalities are alike, just as no two body shapes are the same. Together, we'll examine your relationship with your body and how that relationship may have changed as you've grown and developed. If your goal is weight loss, we'll discover the internal and external factors motivating your drive to lose weight. If your struggle with body image has led to disordered eating, we'll address your concerns holistically - social pressures, meal preparation, family history, eating habits, physical activity, negative thought patterns, emotional triggers, and other factors will all be considered as we work toward positive results! We only have one body in this life, and you deserve a happy, healthy, loving relationship with yours!

— Julia Tehovnik, Counselor in Chicago, IL

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

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

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

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

Our bodies are the way we navigate the world. When we are dissatisfied with our body image, we struggle with daily living activities. Addressing the way we feel about our bodies can be transformational in all areas of our lives. We often have body images issues at the same time as a poor relationship with food. Having the experience of working with eating disorders (as well as disordered eating) goes hand in hand with body image work. I am a member of IAEDP (International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals) and of ASDAH (Association of Size Diversity and Health).

— Jamie English, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Grand Prairie, TX

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

Your body is beautiful and so are you. So much can be said about the way we perceive ourselves influencing multiple areas of our lives. Let's learn about how our bodies do wonderful things every day that sustain us and are more than just visual objects.

— Amanda Dutton, Licensed Professional Counselor in Gainesville, GA

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

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

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

— Carolyn Moore, Counselor in San Francisco, 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

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 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