Treatment for Body Dysmorphia & Eating Disorders in Chicago

We live in a time when an extreme emphasis on our appearance is alarmingly commonplace. Between overly-thin movie stars and models, the unrealistic standard of beauty we often see on social media, and today’s diet culture--sometimes disguised as “wellness,”-- children are bombarded by a false perception of perfection. As a result, body dysmorphia and eating disorders are becoming increasingly prevalent. Although these conditions pertain to the body, they often manifest in the mind, which makes them difficult to address. If your child or teen is struggling with body dysmorphia and/or an eating disorder, what the youngster sees of their body in the mirror is out of alignment with the physical reality that others would observe. That’s why our experts take an exceptionally strategic approach to treating these conditions and helping patients find a common ground between what they see and what they truly are.

Let’s learn more about how Wellington Counseling Group treats body dysmorphia and eating disorders in Chicago.

Understanding Body Dysmorphia in Children

Body dysmorphia, or body dysmorphic disorder, is a mental health condition in which an individual develops an obsession with one or more perceived defects or flaws in their appearance. Children and teens with body dysmorphia become intensely focused on their appearance, which often leads to unwanted behaviors and habits like compulsive grooming, constantly checking themselves in the mirror, or seeking validation from peers. In some cases, disordered eating behaviors will offer some minor, yet fleeting relief from the symptoms of body dysmorphia. But ultimately, without effective treatment on the psychological distortions, the discontent with one’s body will quickly return.

How Do Eating Disorders Relate to Body Image Concerns in Children?

The mind-body relationship is especially complex, even in young children. In many cases, body image distress and eating disorders are closely linked, but not every child who struggles with an eating disorder necessarily suffers from poor body image.

Therapy for Body Dysmorphia & Eating Disorders in Chicago

The disconnect between body image concerns and eating disorders is why uncovering the underlying causes of the symptoms is so essential to effective treatment and relief. We take assessment very seriously when patients come to us with body image issues or suspected eating disorders. At Wellington Counseling Group, we have an in-depth, multi-step process for treating body dysmorphia and eating disorders in children and adolescence.

How WCG Approaches Treatment for Body Dysmorphia & Eating Disorders

When working with a child or teen who struggles with symptoms of body dysmorphia and/or an eating disorder, the first thing our team of specialists does is perform an initial evaluation. During this evaluation, we assess their propensity and risk factors for an eating disorder, as well as their willingness to address their problem. We are looking for the known triggers that result in the unwanted behaviors around the disorder.

Identifying the problem is only the first step in successful treatment. The patient must be ready to address their triggers and make changes in order to be successful in learning to manage body dysmorphia, eating disorders, and other related conditions.

Our team of professionals will help guide your child into a safe space where they’ll be receptive to targeted therapy for eating disorders. Additionally, we can inform parents and siblings as to how they can make recovery a family effort. 

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Consider Wellington Counseling Group for Eating Disorder Treatment in Chicago

In most cases, children or teens struggling with body dysmorphia and eating disorders learn they have underlying factors at play, such as a traumatic experience. Our team of experts who specialize in this area of treatment also have a background in trauma, which makes them especially skilled at addressing the issues that are leading to symptoms and what makes them persist.

If your child is struggling with symptoms of body dysmorphia or an eating disorder, Wellington Counseling Group has the resources you’re looking for. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options for body dysmorphia and eating disorders.