Skinny Daily Post

Invincible.

What if some form of therapy were all you needed to drop that weight and keep it off for good?

Therapy? I’m just fat! I don’t need therapy! Well, but wait a minute. One could argue WeightWatchers is therapy. TOPS is therapy. Your weight loss bulletin boar, certainly your OA meeting. Any diet plan with a group meeting component uses therapeutic methods to help people become more mindful about their habits, change their eating and exercise behaviors. And then there are the sorts of therapies you get one-on-one, from a pro, a therapist or a social worker trained to help you manage you.

These folks have different sorts of methods, some of them pretty fast acting that, in essence, change your mind. There’s cognitive-behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, and hypnotherapy, to name a few of the methods for treating eating and weight management problems. Different therapists specialize in different approaches and may combine their approach with drug therapy, too.

What are they treating when the symptom is excess weight? Might be depression, body image problems, disordered eating, low self esteem. Might be more or less complex than any of these or some combination of all of them. It really depends on you, your history, your thought patterns, the way you think and why you think the way you do.

Do you ever find yourself thinking: “I wish I didn’t think this, but I do,” or “I wish I wouldn’t react this way,” “Why am I doing this?” or “I can’t help the way I think!”

The thing is, you quite often can help the way you think. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in particular is an approach that’s designed especially to help you change the way your mind works. This therapy model assumes that our behaviors are determined by the way we have structured our thinking about the world. These thoughts have developed throughout our history and as a response to our experiences. Our thoughts could be distorted. Correcting distored thinking and dysfunctional beliefs is the work you engage in with a CBT counselor. It can take a little while or a long while. One visit or a few. The effectiveness of CBT therapy for people with weight management and eating disorder problems appears to be high and long-lasting.

It’s just a thought. If your tendency is to lose lots of weight only to gain it back again, if you have a hard time fighting old bad habits or forming healthy new ones. If you’re fighting old hurts and compulsions when you’re fighting with food and exercise, a few hours in the chair with a pro couldn’t possibly hurt. And what if it helped? What if it did put you back in charge of you?

Finding a Therapist, psychologytoday.com

Academy of Cognitive Therapy

A good read: Managing Your Mind

Psychotherapy vs. Medication for Depression

2 thoughts on “Cogitating

  1. K. says:

    Hi Juju! Love your notes! I’m a physical therapist, have a good bit of interaction with clients in a fitess setting as well, & I refer many of my folks to check out your stuff. I’ve struggled not with major weight,
    but certainly body image problems, eating disorders, excessive exercise, la la la (much rooted in an abusive past)…That’s just a bit of
    background.

    I wanted to comment on the “psychotherapy vs medication” article you linked to here. The article is from 1995 (nearly 10 years old) & the medication they refer to are the older anti-depressants (the tri-cyclics). The article draws the general conclusion that psychotherapy has been found just as effective against depression as therapy AND medication together. As for the tricyclics, Psychiatrists DO still prescribe these, as you may know, but the much more common
    prescription is for the SSRI drugs (zoloft, prozac, paxil, etc.) I’ve read articles recently that show that SSRIs with therapy really are more effective than therapy alone.

    I suspect that many of your readers may take an SSRI (I am one) & this article may have been a bit disturbing. Disturbing is fine as long as its likely true & current, but I fear that with the article being 10 years old, it may not be the most recent word, using the most commonly & currently prescribed drugs for depression…

    I’m just wondering if you’d come across any articles using SSRIs & if the conclusion drawn was any different.

  2. JuJu says:

    Hey K,

    Thanks so much for pointing this out. No, I didn’t notice the age of the piece, and do appreciate you bringing attention to it. Here’s something more recent that folks might find helpful. It does cite research that shows SSRIs combined with therapy are most helpful for treating BED in particular:

    http://www.currentpsychiatry.com/2004_04/
    0404_binge_eating_disorder.asp

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