Body image therapy is a therapeutic process by which individuals explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours related to their body. The purpose of this is to improve the experience of being in the body, ultimately to become embodied and live from the body, leading to increased self-esteem, self-acceptance, and overall well-being. By addressing the four aspects of body image — perceptual, affective, cognitive, and behavioural — body image therapy can help people move through body dissatisfaction and embrace a more positive self-image.

 

The Perceptive Aspect: Perception or Your True Self?

The perceptual dimension of body image work explores the lens through which you perceive your body size, shape, and appearance. This aspect acknowledges the fluctuating nature of self-perception within a day. Consider how, within the span of hours, the way you view your body can change, even when the physical reality remains the same. This phenomenon, often tied to weight-related concerns, reveals the intricate interplay between emotions, mindset, and the perception of one’s own physical form.

These fluctuations underscore the need for addressing distorted perceptions in body image therapy. By unravelling the intricacies of this perceptual aspect, the therapeutic journey empowers you to cultivate a stable and positive self-view, untethered from the transient fluctuations that can influence daily self-perception.

 

The Affective Aspect: Navigating the Emotional Landscape

The journey of body image therapy extends beyond just what you see in a reflection, delving into the affective domain—exploring the emotion and feelings an individual experiences in relation to their body.  From pride and confidence to shame and embarrassment, understanding and navigating these emotions is integral to the development of upskilling in how to better coping with moments of body image dissatisfaction. And then ultimately in cultivating an embodied self.

 

The Cognitive Aspect: Transforming Thoughts and Beliefs

An integral part of body image therapy lies the cognitive aspect, a focal point for reshaping your thoughts and beliefs about your body. This component addresses self-evaluative beliefs, particularly those concerning body size, and encourages a shift in general attitudes toward your body. The work in this space enhances the understanding of the impact of feminism and the patriarchy, beauty ideals, racial inequality, health at every size principles, and morality of food and weight. These domains have a significant impact on the emphasis we place on appearance and how that contributes to self-worth. The objective is to rise above the societal emphasis on appearance and develop a more comprehensive and positive sense of self.

 

The Behavioural Aspect: Actions as a Reflection of Self-Perception

Behaviours often serve as visible expressions of internal thoughts and feelings about one’s body. The behavioural dimension of body image therapy delves into these actions, uncovering and reshaping patterns such as excessive exercise, restrictive eating, body checking, body avoidance, or engagement in appearance controlling behaviours that compromise personal values. By addressing these behaviours directly, a shift can be created in how you feel and think about your body.

 

How Body Image Therapy Works: A Multifaceted Approach to Change

Though Body Image Therapy is very personalised work, it typically draws upon a combination of cognitive-behavioural techniques, mindfulness practices, and self-compassion exercises. Some common areas of work include:

  • Identifying and challenging negative thought patterns related to body image
  • Navigating the behaviours engaged to manage these thoughts
  • Exploring the impact of societal pressures and media portrayals of beauty on self-perception
  • Developing self-compassion and learning to treat oneself with kindness and understanding
  • Engaging in mindfulness practices to increase awareness of bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts
  • Building a support network of individuals who promote body positivity and self-acceptance
  • Practicing new behaviours to reinforce a more positive sense of self

 

Learn More about Body Image Therapy: Taking the Next Step toward Self-Acceptance

By addressing the complex interplay of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours related to body image, we can support a journey to self-acceptance and help you foster a healthier relationship with your body. When you’re ready to discuss your body image with a trained professional, consider involving one of our dietitians to enhance your recovery journey.

MEET UR PEPLE


PRINCIPAL DIETITIAN

RUSSELL PHILLIPS
 I want to help people live a full life that aligns with their own values, uninhibited by preoccupations with eating or their body.
ABOUT ME

Russell (he/him) is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian, ANZAED Credentialed Eating Disorder Dietitian, Fitness Professional and the principal dietitian of Intuitry. Russell has worked in fitness since 2010, and as a dietitian since 2014. 

Russell specialises in treatment for eating disorders, working with individuals and families at every stage of an individuals eating disorder to help develop confidence in eating patterns that serve them well. Russell is passionate about the importance of a weight-neutral lens on health and explores this concept with all of his clients to strengthen their recovery journey.

When Russell isn't working with his clients, he is usually teaching Zumba classes, enjoying a Friday night in with takeaway and red wine or camping in the bush.

ADDITIONAL TRAINING
  • CBT-E (Enhanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
  • FBT (Family Based Therapy)
  • MANTRA (Maudsley Model of Anorexia Nervosa Treatment for Adults
  • SSCM (Specialist Supportive Clinical Management)
  • TIC (Trauma Informed Care)
  • Body Image Healing
  • The Non-Diet Approach
  • HAES (Health at Every Size)
AVAILABILITY

Kalamunda and Mount Lawley

DIETITIAN

EFRAT CARBONNE
Significant change, be it behaviour or thinking, is simply a collection of small changes outside of your comfort zone.
ABOUT ME

Effie (she/her) is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and ANZAED Eating Disorder Credentialed Dietitian, with over a decade of experienced in working with people with complex medical needs.

Effie believes that nutrition should be made easy and has a pragmatic approach to help influence how your network, support and lifestyle can support your food choices. Effie aims to help people discover a healthier relationship with food, with behaviour change suited to them. Effie is experienced in working with people who have eating disorders as well as those who have undergone abdominal surgeries, stomas, feeding tubes, dialysis and rehabilitation. Effie also has interest in working with recreational athletes practicing combat sports.

In her spare time Effie enjoys Taekwondo, kickboxing, BJJ and spending time with her family out and about.

ADDITIONAL TRAINING
  • CBT-E (Enhanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
  • Eating Disorder Essentials for Dietitians
  • Eating Disorders Masterclass
  • Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner
AVAILABILITY

Kalamunda and Mount Lawley

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  • Help with an Eating Disorder (for myself)
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  • Seeing a Dietitian (not Eating Disorder)
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