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When You Need More Than Therapy


Although I value psychotherapy tremendously, both personally and professionally, sometimes it’s not enough to heal clients from eating disorders. Therapy is certainly a “cornerstone” or “lifeline” for building a better life, but by itself may not produce the successes clients seek and deserve. Here are some adjunctive activities that are enormously helpful for a true and full recovery from eating and body image disorders.

Group Therapy “involves one or more [psychotherapists] who lead a group of roughly five to 15 patients. Typically, groups meet for an hour or two each week. Some people attend individual therapy in addition to groups, while others participate in groups only. Many groups are designed to target a specific problem, such as depression, obesity, panic disorder, social anxiety, chronic pain or substance abuse. Other groups focus more generally on improving social skills, helping people deal with a range of issues such as anger, shyness, loneliness and low self-esteem. Groups often help those who have experienced loss, whether it be a spouse, a child or someone who died by suicide.” (https://www.apa.org/topics/group-therapy, accessed 8/27/20) Group therapy leaders are licensed therapists trained to lead therapy groups. Psychotherapy groups for couples involve both partners joining a group of other couples.

Support Group “members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Support_group) Support groups are generally led by a facilitator or sometimes co-led. There are also peer-led groups in which each member takes a turn at leading a group. 

Workshops are focused on learning specific concepts and skills and are usually short-term, from half-day to several sessions over several months. I ran “Quit Fighting with Food” workshops that were generally 1.5-2-hour sessions for 4-12 weeks. Workshops are structured, focused, practical, leader led and considered psycho-educational, whereas psychotherapy groups are generally more process oriented.

Support groups or workshops that are excellent additions to psychotherapy for speeding recovery focus on: mindful or intuitive eating, meditation, mindfulness, parenting, PTSD, interpersonal skills, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or anger management.




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This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.