By Jennifer Rollin, MSW, LCSW-C
Struggling with ambivalence in eating disorder recovery is so common. However, it can be a real stuck point on the road to recovery so it’s crucial to be able to work through the ambivalence with a skilled eating disorder therapist.
So many folks struggling with eating disorders are caught in a state of ambivalence i.e having mixed or contradicting feelings about recovery and at The Eating Disorder Center, an outpatient eating disorder therapy practice based in Rockville, Maryland, this is something that we help our clients to move through so that they can reach full recovery.
Many clients with eating disorders struggle with anosognosia-essentially where they can’t see how ill they truly are. That coupled with a society fraught with anti-fat bias and diet culture can make it easy for folks to feel ambivalent about the recovery process.
Often there is a part of them that wants to recover and a part of them that feels pulled to continue in the eating disorder.
Some Tips for Working Through Ambivalence in Recovery:
1.Ask yourself what your life will look like 5 years from now if you stay stuck in an eating disorder vs. five years from now if you fully recover. Get descriptive and detailed.
2.Reflect on your worst eating disorder day and journal about how that felt for you.
3.Explore with a therapist the factors that are strengthening the part of you that may feel a pull to the eating disorder, and see how you can diminish ones that are within your control i.e. finding healthier ways to get your needs met.
4.Explore your true values vs. the eating disorder’s values. List out the ways that the eating disorder may keep you from your true values. What is the cost to your life if you stay stuck in an eating disorder?
5.Recognize that you can FEEL ambivalent AND take recovery actions anyways. Feelings are not facts and it may take some time for your mind to catch up once you begin to challenge the behaviors.
6.Reflect on what prompted you to want to recover from your eating disorder in the first place-and work to connect with and strengthen that part of you.
7.Lean on your support people and your treatment team in moments when ambivalence may be telling you to ‘throw in the towel on recovery.”
The Bottom Line
Ultimately you deserve a full life. One that you cannot have if you stay stuck in an eating disorder. If you are struggling-consider reaching out for help.
You deserve to be free from this and to live a life according to your true values. Full recovery is 100 percent possible.
Book a free 15 minute phone consultation for virtual eating disorder therapy throughout Maryland and Virginia.
The Eating Disorder Center is a premier outpatient eating disorder therapy center founded by Jennifer Rollin. We specialize in helping teens and adults struggling with anorexia, binge eating disorder, bulimia, OSFED, and body image issues. We provide eating disorder therapy in Rockville, MD, easily accessible to individuals in Potomac, North Potomac, Bethesda, Olney, Silver Spring, Germantown, and Washington D.C. We also provide eating disorder therapy in Arlington, Virginia and virtually throughout Virginia. Additionally, we offer eating disorder therapy virtually in New York (NYC), Florida, and California, serving those in cities including Palo Alto, San Francisco, Newport Beach, Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, San Jose, and Beverly Hills. We provide eating disorder recovery coaching via Zoom to people worldwide. Connect with us through our website at www.theeatingdisordercenter.com
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The Eating Disorder Center
We are a premier outpatient eating disorder therapy center in Rockville, Maryland.