The Voice of the Eating Disorder

 EDIT™ Worksheets | Love Your Self Self-Image #1 | ED-IT Dialogue Ugghhh! My thighs are so fat and disgusting… I shouldn’t have eaten that, now I’ve got to get rid of it… I’ve had this eating disorder my whole life, I’ll never get better… Have you heard your clients make statements like these, or something similar? That’s the “Voice of the Eating Disorder” – or, ED. Explain this to your client, saying something like, “That’s ED talking right now. ED makes critical statements, like the ones you just said.” You can further explain to your client that ED can seem to dominate their mind, as if ED thoughts are the only thoughts they think. In early stages of recovery, the voice of ED can be very loud, chattering on and on with judgments and criticisms – but it’s often like background noise in your client’s mind, because they may not be aware of everything ED says. However, because these are the dominant messages in your client’s mind, the voice of ED can be very destructive to their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. These ED thoughts are what drive ED behaviors – as you re-read the three examples above, can you think of ED behaviors that might follow those thoughts? Encourage your client by saying something like, “You are not ED!  You have another voice within you, which gently counters the voice of ED, and encourages you on a path of recovery.” This “recovery voice” is what you are modeling for them as their therapist, especially when you offer compassionate feedback or guidance to take that next small but healthy step. When you are speaking to your client in this way, you are...

Eating Disorder Coping Skills

 EDIT™ Worksheets | Express Your Self Coping #1 | The 5-Rs   Eating disorder behaviors can often be impulsive – your clients may sometimes feel like “ED just takes over.” As your clients progress in recovery, they realize that there is a moment of choice – although at first it may be very brief. This is the window of opportunity for your clients to use alternatives to their eating disorder behaviors as a means of coping. In that moment of choice, your clients may not be able to think of their healthy coping skills – that’s because ED (Eating Disorder) is the predominant voice in their mind. In that moment of choice, your clients may be able to access IT (Intuitive Therapist) for a brief moment – long enough to think, “Hmmmm, what could I do right now instead of giving into ED?” This is where the 5-Rs Worksheet can be essential! If your client has completed this worksheet in session with you, or as a homework assignment, then they have the completed worksheet to refer to in their moment of need. When ED is active in their mind, they may have a difficult time remembering IT’s suggestions for healthy ways of coping. But if they pull out this completed worksheet, then they have plenty if ideas to use as alternatives to ED. Let’s look at each of the 5-Rs, so you can guide your client to complete this worksheet. The 5-Rs represent five different areas which the client can consider accessing based on their specific needs in the moment. Each of the 5-Rs begin with the letter R (to make these easier for your...