A healthy body image is one in which a person has an accurate image of their body and is mostly satisfied by what they see. Those that struggle with extreme disturbances over body image, such as individuals with body dysmorphic disorder, can become obsessed with that image in the mirror and a persistent desire to dramatically change it. Media can reinforce that negative image further, with an obsession with the “ideal” body and constant focus on weight loss. Negative body image can provide the foundation for eating disorders and other mental health conditions and may also be a contributing factor in symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.
Eating disorders have become a prevalent concern in the U.S., with 20 million women and 10 million men suffering from these conditions, according to Mental Health America. Those disorders might include bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating disorders. When these disorders are left unchecked, they can lead to severe health problems and even death. Avalon Integrative Wellness recognizes the link between negative body image and mental illness and has created healthy body image groups to help our clients develop a realistic view of their bodies as a component in our intensive outpatient program or IOP.
In the healthy body image groups at Avalon Integrative Wellness, clients will explore how individuals who suffer from mental health issues and addiction are at higher risk for developing an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Our groups, which are facilitated by experts in body image and food addictions, will discuss the following topics:
In addition, these groups will be working on helping clients create a healthy body image and promoting body acceptance. We will evaluate how we tend to buy into the messages promotes in social media and advertisements, the myth of the thin and muscular ideals, and the dangers of comparing our bodies to others. Our goal will be to help all clients learn to love themselves from the inside out, instead of from the outside in, which can lead to a negative body image that plagues many people today.
A healthy body image is an essential component of positive mental health. Negative perceptions about the body can lead to many other psychological and physical issues. By reinforcing a healthy body image with our clients, we can provide them with the following benefits:
In our effort to create an integrative approach that encompasses mind, body, and spirit, the staff at Avalon Integrative Wellness offer treatment modalities that address our clients’ needs on a variety of levels. Healthy body image groups are just one piece in an extensive program designed to improve mental and physical health, which also includes talk therapies, wellness services, and individual counseling. To learn more about these services or our IOP program, contact Avalon Integrative Wellness today at 888-266-9048.