The Safa way to get help…
What are eating disorders?
Food is a necessary part of life and we all differ in the food we like, how much we need, and when we like to eat. However, sometimes people use food as a way of coping or controlling/avoiding feelings by restricting their food intake, bingeing, purging or over-exercising.
SAFA work with all different types of eating disorders. Our overall aims are to help you to:
- –Understand the underlying issues behind your eating problem
- –Develop healthier ways of coping
Past clients have told us that counselling has also helped with:
- –Body image
- –Being more positive
- –Sleeping better
- –Improved relationships
- –Feeling more assertive
Counselling is a working relationship which provides a safe, non-judge-mental and confidential space in which to explore the difficulties that you may be experiencing, in a way not always possible with family and friends.
Counsellors do not provide advice or offer magical solutions, but will help you to explore and identify thoughts, feelings and behaviors and understand yourself better. The counsellor will be like a companion on a journey, helping you to find ways of moving forward.
Everyone who suffers from an eating disorder will experience it in a different way and respond to different types of treatment. Our counsellors are able to work in a variety of ways, depending on the individual needs of the client.
What to expect at your first appointment?
During your first appointment we will assess your needs. It can be useful for looking at what sort of issues you may wish to explore. This is also a chance for us to decide if counselling would be useful or not. If we both agree on future counselling sessions, a contract will be formed, which covers confidentiality, attendance etc.
For some people undertaking counselling can be a difficult journey but with the support of a counsellor many people do begin to feel better.
It is important that you are willing to attend regularly to make the best use of therapy. Counselling sessions usually take place once a week at an agreed time.
What is meant by confidential?
This means that any information you disclose to your counsellor is private, and is not shared with anyone else outside of SAFA, unless you give permission to do so. There are, however, some exceptions where we cannot keep confidentiality, for example, due to severe risk to yourself or someone else or for legal reasons. These will be FULLY discussed with you during your assessment.
You are not alone.
There is always hope!
Help and Treatment
The sooner someone is treated for an Eating Disorder, the better the chance of making a full recovery. We know that gaining access to treatment isn’t always as straight forward as we would like it to be.
SAFA is not a crises service which can also be very frustrating for you. Because it takes courage to ask for help. What SAFA does offer is a professional 1:1 counselling to work with the core issues which are affecting you.
The first place to start is your GP.
We recognize that it takes courage to speak openly about your worries and concerns, perhaps take a family member or a trusted friend along for support.
This can feel incredible overwhelming and makes the way you are feeling very real, often when we are in the grips of an Eating Disorder we are in denial that there is a problem.
It’s everyone around use who doesn’t like it or is Jealous of you being thin. When we are able to move out of denial we can see that we have a problem which needs help. Often we feel weak for asking for help but in fact it’s a strength.
Early intervention is the key towards working towards recovery.
Planning for your GP appointment:
- Book a double appointment so you don’t have to rushed and feel so over whelmed
- Take support
- Write down your worries and concerns.
Some off the misunderstanding you might come across
- What you’re experiencing hasn’t been going on long enough for treatment. This statement can often trigger the eating disorder part of yourself and want to leave the GP office and full fill the creator and become worse. That is why it is important that there is a speedy referral. As early intervention helps to support a chance of recovery. Saves resources in the long run.
- Often a GP might say that your weight doesn’t suggest you need a referral. This is a mental illness. The NICE Guide lines says the decision to refer should consider a range of Mental as well as Physical factors.
- This may be a phase, so you should try and eat normally and come back again.Waiting could mean the illness progresses further. Eating disorders need to be assessed and treated by those with an appropriate level of understanding. You deserve the right treatment for you.