Treatment. Part 2

A person who constantly weighs herself may try not weighing herself for increasingly longer periods of time (e.g., at first a few hours, then a day, and so on). Encouraging pleasurable behaviors that make a person’s body feel good is another important treatment intervention. Teaching relaxation skills is another important element of the treatment. This gives individuals skills they can use when the urge to engage in body-image behaviors strikes.

Treatment for avoidance behaviors involves helping individuals eliminate the avoidance of anxiety-provoking situations by exposing them to these situations. By virtue of their confronting the feared situation, they may improve their coping skills and reduce or perhaps even eliminate their body-image anxiety. Interventions include first enabling the individual to feel comfortable viewing his or her own body in privacy. This may be accomplished by creating a hierarchy of first imagined and then real distressing aspects of viewing themselves clothed and unclothed in a full-length mirror. Other exposure assignments include eating in public, working out in public, wearing form-fitting clothing, undressing in front of others, and accentuating a distressing feature. Assignments should increase in difficulty by varying the familiarity with the circumstances. Individuals are asked to compare their expected outcome of each assignment/experiment with the actual outcome. Most people find that the dreaded outcome they feared does not occur. Relaxation skills are also important for avoidance behaviors. These skills can be used when the individual confronts a distressing situation. Addressing these behavioral dimensions can ultimately help individuals change the way they think and feel about their body.

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April 20th, 2012 - Posted in Medicines | | Comments Off

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