A significant piece of the treatment of bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders is therapy, which can help patients understand the underlying issues of the eating disorder behaviors and individually approach the case with the most appropriate types of treatment. Working with an experienced therapist can be a new and intimidating experience for some people, and they may not be sure what they should say. To receive the most benefit from therapy or treatment, here are things a patient should discuss with their bulimia therapist.
- How the Past Shapes the Present
The development of an eating disorder like bulimia or anorexia nervosa, or any mental health disorder is not always about past trauma. There are many different causes of bulimia nervosa. However, the past does impact the present, in both good and bad ways. Even in cases where no trauma presents, a combination of “nature” and “nurture” are root causes to the development of the disorder. Because of that, any patient who is experiencing bulimia nervosa will want to be open with their therapist about past life experiences. There may be something important they do not realize they need to talk about, but that the therapist can point out to help the client move towards recognizing the causes of the disorder and the steps necessary to change those behaviors.
- How the Present Can Form the Future
Just as the past impacts the present, the present can have impact the future. During bulimia nervosa treatment, the patient should talk with their therapist about what is taking place in their lives now that may directly affect their future. Examples include major life events such as a marriage or divorce, a new job or college major, moving houses, and the like. All of these can be stressors or triggers for relapses and so they need careful planning by both the client and the therapist to manage. Because the choices they make now will matter at a later date, talking about those decisions should be part of their bulimia nervosa treatment. They can explore whether the choices they are making are positive for their future, or whether they might be contributing to their eating disorder, including bulimia nervosa symptoms.
- Coping Techniques and Skills for Life Challenges
Any patient who experiences bulimia nervosa symptoms can benefit from coping skills, tools and techniques they can use to improve the quality of their life. If coping skills are not currently strong, their therapist can help them understand what they can work on. The importance of a mindful approach to coping with negative emotions and other stressors can’t be overstated. Something as simple as a ten-minute stretching session may assist a recovered client from urges to purge or binge. With coping skills taught by empathetic professionals, they can focus on becoming fully recovered from bulimia nervosa, and also improve other aspects of their life simultaneously.
- Goals and Dreams Moving Forward
Hope is an essential part of moving forward with eating disorder recovery. While clients are working toward becoming fully recovered from bulimia nervosa, they normally have additional goals and dreams for the future. Maybe those dreams have been put on hold, but an experienced therapist can help by teaching them life and coping skills like stress management and mindful meditation techniques to help work toward these goals while also working on recovery from bulimia nervosa.
- Fears, Doubts, and Developing Confidence
Many individuals have doubts and fears about the course of their life, and in addition to genetic factors and the influence of the media (both traditional and social), those anxieties are key contributing factors to the development of eating disorders. This can be quite difficult to overcome, but as a client works with their therapist to explore their bulimia nervosa causes, they can discern the best ways to plan an appropriate treatment program, and practice more positive coping skills. They can begin to develop the confidence that they can understand, and challenge bulimia nervosa causes while on the path to recovery.