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On the last track, we discussed three concepts related to boredom and loneliness with regards to binge eating. These three concepts related to boredom and loneliness with regards to binge eating included: providing occupation; providing companionship; and feelings of inadequacy.
On this track, we will examine three Cognitive Behavior Therapy techniques that can be helpful in restoring confidence in bulimic clients. These three confidence boosting techniques include: Beauty is the Beholder; Overcoming the Approval Trap; and Relabel Problems.
3 CBT Confidence Boosting Techniques
Technique #1- Beauty is the Beholder, 6 Steps
I gave Megan the following list of instructions to follow:
The object of this exercise is to replace such automatic thoughts as “I am fat” or “I need to be skinny” with a more general and affirming automatic thought. Think of your Megan. Does he or she need to replace his or her automatic thoughts with more affirmations?
Technique #2 - Overcoming the Approval Trap
She began to take out her frustrations on Jennifer, heaping criticism after criticism in an attempt to bring her daughter back home. When Jennifer had decided to stay in school and get her master’s, Dorothy stated, “No man really wants a wife who makes more than him! You have enough problems with dating as it is. If only you’d lose a bit of weight.”
Jennifer stated, “I call my mom every evening and we talk for hours, but she’s still not satisfied! I really don’t know what she wants from me! I started binging and purging about my second year into college and I know it’s because of her whining. I order my day around her, and I’ve never been able to say, ‘Let me run my life!’”
I stated to Jennifer, “We all want unconditional love, to be appreciated free of demands or expectations. Yet all growth involves the integration of seemingly opposite values—the paradox of unconditional love is accepting that we all have conditions. No matter how much you do for others, some people will still criticize, complain, or take out their negative emotions on you.”
To help Jennifer release the aggravation she had accumulated, I asked her to try a role playing game called “Overcoming the Approval Trap” in which I played Dorothy and Jennifer allowed herself a tirade. At first, she was reluctant, but after some coaxing, Jennifer finally let loose. Jennifer stated, “I hate it when you criticize me! You’re always breathing down my neck and finding fault, never letting me run my own life! Why can’t you just support me in my biggest decisions?” Think of your Jennifer. Who is he or she trying to gain unconditional love from?
Technique #3 - Relabel Problems
To help Nancy understand that she really had no control over her eating habits, I asked her to try the “Relabel Problems” exercise. I asked that she look blamelessly at what she may have done to bring about the situation she was in.
I stated to Nancy, “The lesson you learn from adversity helps you to prevent its happening again. The lesson is usually something crucial to your development. If you don’t learn it now, the problem will reappear until you learn what you need to know. Suppose you have a bad day at school and you go home and consume three jars of peanut butter. What have you learned? That framing what happens to you negatively will bring on a binge.”
Nancy stated, “So I may not have control over my eating directly, but I do have control over the feelings that cause it! My problem is not my eating, but the negativity that precludes it.” Think of your Nancy. Would he or she gain a new perspective through “Relabeling Problems?”
On this track, we discussed three techniques that can be helpful in restoring confidence in bulimic clients. These three confidence boosting techniques included: Beauty is the Beholder; Overcoming the Approval Trap; and Relabel Problems.
On the next track, we will examine three different levels of overeating. These three different levels of overeating include: food users; food abusers; and food addicts.
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