Perfectionism, Body Image and Self Compassion

An Eating Disorder Presentation


Focus: Brief diagnostic introduction with an emphasis on perfectionism, body image, and self-compassion

Goal: To address the overarching theme of inadequacy and feeling fat, maladaptive strategies used to combat these feelings, while suggesting healthier ways to succeed or feel adequate.

Introduction: High achieving people who experience feelings of inadequacy often do so in the context of school, career, and appearance. Research shows that when hypercritical, negative self-talk is used for the purpose of motivation it fuels perfectionism, unrelenting standards, and is often unsuccessful in motivating. This causes increased risk for mood related disorders, anxiety related disorders, and eating disorders. Through practicing and achieving more positive, self-compassionate self-talk, we can like ourselves more, lower our risk for mental illness, and become more successful in reaching our goals.

Expectation: A better understanding of the following: difference between disordered eating and an eating disorder, understanding perfectionism; body image; feeling fat; the relationship between body insecurities and the desire to be successful, why the practice of hypercritical-self-talk is ineffective, and why the use of self-compassion in self-talk is more adaptive.

Audience: Applicable to people with eating disorders and without, directed towards college students (female focused) but can be adapted for high school students of all genders/sexual orientations or parents of the age group.

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