Towards An Understanding Of Self Esteem And Eating Disorders

1404 Words Jun 14th, 2016 6 Pages
Towards an Understanding of Self-Esteem and Eating Disorders
By Melissa H. Smith, Ph.D. | Submitted On September 24, 2012

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Expert Author Melissa H. Smith, Ph.D.
During a session with a client who has long suffered with an eating disorder I was discussing what it would be like if she could feel positive about herself. I was shocked with the response she gave me. Instead of reporting a desire to feel better about herself, this client laughed at me and retorted, "Self-esteem is laughable to me. I hope to be rid of the disturbing behaviors of the eating disorder, but I know it 's asking too much to like myself." This encounter has been as intriguing as it has been disturbing. In this interaction I believe I came to understand, in small measure, what many women who suffer from eating disorders must feel about themselves. And, I better understand that when therapists, dietitians, and other helpers meet these women, survival is often the goal rather than happiness or feelings of self-worth. This interaction has come to symbolize for me the lie of the eating disorder in that it so efficiently creates such hopelessness, self-hate, and shame in women.…
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