Miss E came to therapy for weight loss wanting to lose 2.5 stone in all. She is 29 and came out of a failed relationship 6 months ago. #she is now ready to look for another partner but she is scared as her previous partner of 6 years was very controlling and almost seemed to want her to stay overweight. She had struggled with her weight since she was 12 or 13 and her parents badgered her about being unattractive and eating too much. She has tried many diets but always seems to put the weight back on again after a while. She is going on an all girls holiday in 3 months and hopes to have lost weight by then.
On the initial consultation I noted the perceptions she has of being controlled and repressed since childhood, this may give me concern as to whether I need to address a hidden psychosis perhaps triggered by childhood experiences in order to help her. In which case I may have to involve someone else or indeed recommend her to consult a more experienced practitioner. On further consideration I felt that I could help her to set a reasonable goal and help her to then achieve it. If anything reveals itself during the therapy I can refer her on later as required.
Her perceptions of being “forced” to eat may be her way of defending herself, and to avoid perhaps a need for food she does not want to face. A need for food as a comfort is common and can be a symptom of poor self esteem and depression, which in this case seems likely. Due to a breakup with a man who appears to have liked her overweight perhaps in order to ensure she would stay with him, and a childhood where her self-image and appetite had been used as a way to chastise and control her. Food has had unfortunately been linked with negative feelings.