Body Image Issues: 5 Ways Cognitive Therapy Helps!

Body Image Issues

Body Image Issues

By: Thomas Fransen, LCSW

When you look in a mirror at your body, what do you see? Maybe you see big ears, a pointy chin, multiple freckles or skinny legs. Perhaps you see a large person staring back at you, even though others have suggested your look totally fine. Focusing on your appearance is very human but for some people, too much focus, particularly when it’s critical in nature, may speak to a larger problem called body image issues.

This article will explore the 5 ways cognitive behavioral therapy, also referred to as CBT, can help you to address your own body image issues and create positive change in how you view yourself.

Are you ready? Let’s jump right in!

1. Reduce Eating Disorders

In an effort to change your body shape, you may adapt an eating disorder like reducing your caloric intake, tracking every single thing you eat, binging or purging. These habits do permanent damage to your body. With cognitive therapy, you begin the process of accepting yourself. In time, your eating disorders can abate so that you can enjoy food as fuel rather than as the enemy.

2. Accept Perceived Flaws

Look at your body, and your eyes probably focus on the flaws like your big nose, narrow hips or bony knees. Apart from surgery, those perceived flaws will remain part of your body shape until you die. Learn to accept the unique parts of your body with help from cognitive therapy, and you find yourself appreciating every part of you when you look into the mirror every day.

3. Become Satisfied With Your Body Size

The average woman in America weighs 164 pounds, and it doesn’t matter if you’re under or over that average or even if you’re healthy. If you’re unsatisfied with your body size, you won’t want to clothes shop, look at your naked body or be touched. With cognitive therapy, you become satisfied with your personality, talents and skills. In turn, you become satisfied with your true self and love your body regardless of its size.

4. Correct Size Perceptions

Your internal voice might tell you that you’ll never be good enough for the regular sized clothing or that you’re to bony to be attractive. Maybe you feel thin or fat because of the number on the scales or on your clothing tags. Your imperceptions of size trigger anxiety, low self-esteem and depression. Improve your overall wellbeing when you participate in cognitive therapy and begin to see yourself as you really are instead of the number you see on the scale..

5. Appreciate Your Body’s Features and Their Functions

Your body, no matter what it looks like, does an amazing job of keeping you alive and helping you function each day. So maybe you do need to wear glasses or buy a large shoe size. You can be grateful that you have eyes to see the beauty of nature and that your feet take you where you need to go. Do you see how appreciating your body’s features and functions is a positive thing? Seek cognitive therapy as you learn to appreciate your wondrous body.

These five benefits of cognitive therapy do more than solve your body image issues. They also rebuild your confidence, improve your mental health and prepare you to make a positive impact in your corner of the world.



A great book to consider reading regarding body image issues is The Broken Mirror by Dr. Katherine Phillips. Inside, the author explores the clinical issue of Body Dysmorphic Disorder, something many people have but may not be aware of.

Talk therapy infused with CBT can be a very positive step in helping you to work through some of your own body image issues. If you would like to talk to one of our therapists, please call us at 773-528-1777 or send us a confidential note using our online contact form.

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