Group Therapy to Set Bodies Free
The old slogan 'when you look good you feel good,' has been used to lure women into everything from fad diets to weight -loss shakes, and brainwashed legions of females to think that yo-yo dieting, overexercising and starvation is the only true path to happiness. It is little wonder that many women suffer from anxiety related stress due to being unhappy with their weight.
The "Set Your Body Free" program at La Trobe University's Bundoora campus, is hoping to reverse this type of dangerous reasoning by inviting female participants aged between 30-60 to take part in the 8 week initiative.
In a world, where the ideal image is 'young and thin', and women over 30 can feel invisible, the pressure to defy age and gravity can be overwhelming. In an attempt to deal with this pressure, many women turn to unhealthy weight control practices. Approximately 20% of women in this age bracket regularly engage in strict dieting and fasting and 17% binge eat, which can occur as a consequence of restrictive eating patterns.
The Set Your Body Free initiative hopes to help motivate its members to make important positive changes to the way they feel about themselves and their eating behaviour and help participants to deal with natural physiological changes that will happen to their body with age.
The program, coinciding with the International No Diet Day on May 6, is inviting women who feel distressed about their weight or eating to join the group sessions.
Specifically, the program will address issues such a weight experience (fad diets/ yo yo diets/ not eating); understanding metabolic changes; age and Image issues; resisting the lure of dieting; emotional eating; irregular eating patterns and managing guilt and anxiety (shame).
The program is free. Each session will last for 2 hours, and will be conducted over 8 weekly sessions. The program is being conducted in a face-to-face group setting, and is a part of a research project being undertaken by Professor Susan Paxton and Professor Eleanor Wertheim at the school of Psychological Science, and is supported by an Australian Rotary Health Research Grant. The group is co-ordinated by Sian McLean.