Tag Archives: therapy

iTherapy – Integrating the iPhone into Therapy

iPhone Therapy

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I recently read an article by Dr. Weissman of the Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis that introduced the concept of using an iPhone in the treatment of anorexia and body dysmorphic disorder.

Times are changing faster than ever. Technological advances, such as the introduction of the iPhone, have drastically changed the way we communicate and perform everyday activities. We can easily observe our everyday lives via the video and photo component of the iPhone. Weissman believes that this component of iPhone technology could be an effective tool in the treatment of the body dysmorphia that often accompanies anorexia.

Many of my patients that are in treatment for anorexia also experience some level of body dysmorphia; they see an obese person looking back at them in the mirror even though they are drastically underweight. Today, body dysmorphia is typically treated through psychotherapy, nutritional support and medication. For some patients, these approaches have limited success rates.

When a patient talks to me about the “obese person” that they see in the mirror, I often introduce a body image exercise involving “photo-therapy”. I ask the patient to take a photograph of themselves and bring it to their next treatment session. Oftentimes, when the patient returns and we talk about the photograph, the same body that was once described as being “fat” and “obese” is now described as being “underweight” and “malnourished”.

Weissman explains that when an anorexic patient looks in the mirror, their self perception is instantly fused with a distorted body image. The brain is so overwhelmed by this distortion, that it cannot process the image of the “real” body. The brain becomes trapped in this optical illusion, this distorted view. In contrast, when an anorexic patient sees his or her self in a photograph, the brain first acknowledges that there is a person in the photograph, it then focuses on the physicality of the photographed person. The brain then sends the message to the patient that they are the person in the photograph.

Integrating iPhone Therapy into the treatment of anorexia could definitely be a powerful tool in overcoming the body dysmorphia associated with anorexia. Based upon psychotherapy techniques developed by Frieda Fromm-Reichmann in Principles of Intensive Psychotherapy I, the steps below are Weissman’s suggested approach to integrating the iPhone into treatment:

  1. Patient and therapist look at patient in the mirror. Patient describes what they see.
  2. Therapist takes a photograph of the patient with iPhone. Patient describes what s/he sees.
  3. Therapist and patient discuss the differences between the description of the patient in the mirror and the patient in the photograph.
  4. A photograph of the patient standing beside the therapist is taken. Patient describes the image of the therapist. If the patient see distortion in the therapists image, the therapist and patient develop a jointly shared description of the therapist.
  5. Patient describes image of self. If patient sees distortion, the therapist and patient develop a jointly shared description of the patient.

Weissman points out the importance of the therapist not correcting the distorted view of the patient. If the patient does experience distortion in the photograph, the therapist should remind the patient that they both agreed on the description of the image of the therapist in the same photograph. It is necessary that the therapist and patient try to come to an agreement on the description of the patient.

Weissman predicts that utilizing this iPhone exercise will lead to an eventual reduction in the amount of distortion that the patient experiences when looking in the mirror. A combination of iPhone Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and nutritional counseling may lead to the patient gaining the important ability to maintain a healthy weight with little outside assistance. If the therapist successfully teaches the patient to be able to independently perform this exercise on a regular basis, there could be a drastic drop in relapse rates.

Sources: “Photo-Therapy: A Promising Intervention in Anorexia Nervosa?”

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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More Survey Results

Eating Disorders Survey

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Since most of the individuals taking this survey probably have an Eating Disorder (ED), the results are not surprising. One interesting finding is how many people are afraid to handle food (nearly 15%). Another is the high percentage of people who obsess about food and or have food cravings (71%) Given what we know about MSG, that it is highly addicting, obsessive thoughts and food cravings would make sense.

If you have not yet taken the survey please do!

*These results are based upon 260 responses.

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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Survey Results: 38.5% of eating disorder victims have also been diagnosed with ADD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Eating Disorders Survey

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Over the past couple of years I have been collecting data from a survey I designed to better understand the uniqueness of the eating disorder population. Some of the responses are pretty interesting.

I’ve found that many of my patients, as well as many responders to my survey have also been diagnosed with ADD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  According to my survey, 38.5% of eating disorder victims have also been diagnosed with ADD or OCD. These mental illnesses can be the trigger or the result of an eating disorder. Thus, treatment for the eating disorder must also include treatment of contributing illnesses.

Here are the current, detailed results from my survey. If you have not yet taken the survey please do!

Let’s Connect!

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Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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Survey Results – Interesting Results Regarding Shopping Behavior

Eating Disorders Survey

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Here are the current, detailed results from my survey regarding shopping behavior. Notice that over half (52%) of the respondents specifically buy “binge” food and that only 31.5% buy healthy food all the time. What’s also interesting is that only 7% of respondents buy fast foods or processed foods. These numbers are generated primarily by the eating disordered population. However, in the general public the truth remains that our nation consumes 41% more processed foods than fresh foods! How much fast food or processed foods is your body consuming?

If you have not yet taken the survey please do!

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Survey Results: 80% of Those Struggling With An Eating Disorder Have Also Been Diagnosed With Another Mental Illness

Eating Disorders Survey

photo used under a creative commons license

Over the past couple of years I have been collecting data from a survey I designed to better understand the uniqueness of the eating disorder population. Some of the responses are pretty interesting.

I’ve found that many of my patients, as well as many responders to my survey also struggle with other mental illnesses. In fact, only about 20% do not! These mental illnesses can be the trigger or the result of an eating disorder. Thus, treatment for the eating disorder must also include treatment of contributing illnesses.

Here are the current, detailed results from my survey. If you have not yet taken the survey please do!

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

 

Night Eating Syndrome & Sleep Related Eating Disorders

Night eating syndrome treatment cincinnati

Night Eating Syndrome and Sleep Related Eating Disorders; When “Midnight Snacks” Turn into Calorie Loaded Nightmares.

It is estimated that over 6 million Americans are affected by Night Eating Syndrome (NES) or Sleep Related Eating Disorders (SRED), yet most of us have never heard of either of these disorders.  Essentially they involve consumption of large quantities of high carb foods during the night. Because NES and SRED share  the characteristics of other eating, mood and sleep disorders they can easily be misdiagnosed and mistreated.  Those affected by NES or SRED often feel misunderstood, isolated and hopeless.  These feelings can exacerbate other eating disorders and perpetuate a cycle of disturbed eating patterns during the day as well as during the night.

How are NES and SRED different?

While they are similar in as which they involve uncontrolled night eating that interferes with sleep and daytime activities they are fundamentally different. Those with  NES have a difficult time falling asleep and wake frequently with an intense urge to eat, sleep is  prevented until the urge is satisfied.  This syndrome usually occurs when the individual is battling stress and depression. SRED is the act of preparing and eating food while sleep walking, these individuals will awake with no memory of eating the night before.  This disorder is very common in those who suffer from restrictive eating disorders.

Is Treatment Available for NES and SRED?

Yes, treatment is available.   NES and SRED are a combination of disorders so each disorder must be addressed.   The most effective treatment involves a combination of psychotherapy and behavior therapy, in some cases medication may also be necessary.  When seeking treatment it is advised that you find a health care provider that has experience with NES and SRED.


Sources:

Allison K, Stunkard A, Thier S. Overcoming Night Eating Syndrome. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications; 2004.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2009, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2009, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

The Real Deal About Anorexia

Anorexia Treatment Cincinnati

Anorexia, a potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss, has seen a threefold increase over the past 40 years among women in their 20s and 30s. The percentage of teens afflicted has remained about the same with the exception of male teens. Whereas males used to represent only 5% of the ED population, they now represent closer to 10% and are over-represented among wrestlers, professional ice-skaters, jockey’s and the male homosexual population.

Anorexia is usually characterized by resistance to maintaining a body weight sufficient for normal functioning and/or for survival. In a small proportion of cases, the individual is not resisting weight gain, nor is she consciously trying to lose weight. Instead she is simply unable to eat enough to maintain a normal weight as a result of excessive anxiety. The eating disorder for this relatively small group develops partly as a result of a defense mechanism called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) which drives her to restrict more and more in order to control the number of calories she is ingesting. Eating less and less becomes an obsession.  Unlike the majority of Anorexics, whose goal it is to loose weight, her goal is to control her calorie intake. Obviously, the outcome is the same, but it is important to understand the difference, otherwise she will be mislabeled and may end up being or feeling mistreated.

In most cases, the fear of weight gain or being “fat” is so intense that the individual consciously restricts to achieve a lower and lower weight.  For such individuals, the number is never low enough.  Suffers grossly distort the shape of her body, believing that she is “fat” in the face of deathly thinness. This condition is known as body dysmorphia and is a common symptom. In terms of personality, the anorexic tends to be a perfectionist, judging others and herself harshly.

webinar-anorexia-distorted-body-imageWarning Signs of Anorexia

*Dramatic or persistent steady weight loss.

*Preoccupation with weight, food, calories, fat grams, and/or dieting.

*Refusal to eat certain foods, progressing to severe food restrictions.

*Frequent comments about feeling “fat” or overweight despite weight loss.

*Denial of hunger.

*Development of food rituals.

*Consistent excuses to avoid mealtimes or situations involving food.

*Excessive, rigid exercise regimen-despite weather, fatigue, illness, or injury.

*Withdrawal from friends and activities.

*Life revolves around weight loss, dieting, and control of food.

If you are looking for anorexia treatment in Cincinnati for yourself or a loved one, there is help available! Call 513-300-8042 to set up a consultation with me!

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2009, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2009, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Buddhist Underpinnings of Mindfulness

mindfulness in eating disorder recovery

  • When the power of love is greater than the love for power; The world shall know peace.
  • Bring happiness to every encounter in life.
  • Allow life and all its abundance to come to you.
  • Take pleasure from what you possess without being attached to these things.
  • Extend your perspective beyond just your senses.
  • Live in a conscious and continuous state of gratitude and bliss.
  • Train your mind and body to live without suffering.
  • Awaken to new possibilities and your Divine magnificence!
  • Worries are interludes in happiness!!!
  • The THOUGHTS the THINKER THINKS cause suffering.
  • “True spirituality is a mental attitude you can practice at any time.” — Dalai Lama

Sources:

Dr Wayne Dyer (http://www.drwaynedyer.com)

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2009, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2009, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’