Closely related to self-esteem is body image, which refers to the way you feel about your body, regardless of how you actually appear to those around you. People of all ages, genders, shapes and sizes can experience negative body image; it is not limited to females or those who are overweight. Are you discontent with the image you see in the mirror? Do you find yourself obsessing over different parts of your body? Are you overly conscious of your clothing choices because you don’t want others to judge the body that is underneath? If so, you may benefit from counselling to help improve your body image.
Such negative self-perceptions can be detrimental to your social confidence and self-esteem. They may deter you from engaging in social situations, for fear of discrimination and judgment, which may lead to loneliness and isolation. Poor body image is also closely related to eating disorders, both under-eating and over-eating. Many people utilize food as a coping mechanism to deal with stress and other emotions and this over-eating, or binging, in turn can contribute to further declines in your body image. Overall, there are many more factors underlying negative body image than simply physical dissatisfaction.
Defining Solutions psychologists are here to help you learn to accept your body for what it is and work through the underlying factors that may have created and perpetuate the challenges you are experiencing. We will also help you to address personal and social factors that may have led to your negative body image in the first place. Everyone has physical flaws and these are not reflective of our internal character.