Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Benefits of Therapy

Millions of people seek treatment through therapists like Ava Dorrance every year. The once taboo practice has now become a much more common and widely appreciated form of treatment. People today seek out therapy for a myriad of personal and individual reasons. Therapy provides relief for those dealing with a traumatic experience, undergoing marital strife, suffering from an intense fear, going through a period of grief, and much more.

Therapy provides many benefits. Though it may accompany medical treatment, therapy in itself does not necessarily entail medication but instead constitutes a natural form of treatment. A therapist can act as a sounding board, often for individuals who would otherwise have no one to talk to. Therapy has proven extremely beneficial in helping those struggling with drug addiction, eating disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Though medication can also help with these issues, the ability to work through past issues and develop new strategies for coping represents a fundamental part of moving beyond one’s problems. Many studies demonstrate that this treatment approach greatly enhances what psychotropic drugs alone cannot provide. This makes sense, since, although antidepressants can lead to better emotions overall, they cannot teach coping skills the way a good dose of cognitive behavior therapy can.

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Posted by on October 14, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Coping with a Loved One Suffering from an Eating Disorder

By Ava Dorrance

As a therapist, I often work with clients suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. I also have the opportunity to meet and speak with the loved ones of these individuals, including parents, spouses, friends, and siblings. Though eating disorders are incredibly hard on the people afflicted with them, they can also impose hardships on those supporting the victim. Often, friends and family do not know how to deal with issues related to eating disorders. They worry about making things worse or wonder how they can help.

The first thing that loved ones must realize is that they cannot control the person with the eating disorder. One cannot force an anorexic to eat or a bulimic to stop the binge-and-purge process. No amount of pressure or guilt imposed from an outsider will ever be enough to cause a person suffering from these illnesses to change course suddenly. What family and friends should provide is unconditional love. The victim needs you; he or she must feel supported and loved throughout this difficult process, not pushed away or belittled.

The process of overcoming these conditions can be long and tedious. Much like an addiction, these sorts of maladies generally linger beneath the surface for a lifetime, even after successful treatment. Those caring for a sufferer must be willing to stick by him or her for the long haul, understanding that the journey is long and relapse possible. No quick fix exists for eating disorders.

More than anything else, it is important to be there when your loved one needs someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on. Especially in the case of a parent whose child suffers from an eating disorder, support people themselves may find that they need some counseling of their own.

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Posted by on October 14, 2011 in Uncategorized