Eating Disorders Explored

Liverpool and Sefton eating disorder service offers psychological support for a range of disorders and weight management and surgery.

What sets it apart?

Liam Jones, psychological therapist explains: "Our approach is to avoid making the person’s experience overly clinical. Rather than solely focusing on weight as the primary criteria for entry to the service, the emphasis is on understanding their difficulties.

We listen to their personal story, and through therapeutic process help them make sense of their experiences while finding a way to move forward with their lives. The eating disorder is one facet of who they are but it does not define them. To assume that it does misses the person entirely".

Liam is the only male therapist. Do men prefer to speak to another man? “We give them the choice and some do; but most are happy to see any therapist. We all adhere to the same client focused approach and adapt as people’s needs change.”

We want men to realise they're not alone

The latest addition to the suite of therapies, Compassion Focused Therapy, teaches the capacity for self soothing and described as ‘physiotherapy for the brain.’

Liam: “The distress of being shamefully alone is horrendous. It becomes all encompassing and has such a profound effect .I hope we’re helping to shape future perspectives so that men realise they’re not alone.”

What to look out for

Men of any age can develop an eating disorder but they are most likely to begin between 14 and 25

  • Some personality types, including obsessive compulsive personalities, are much more susceptible to developing eating disorders
  • Eating disorders can be a coping mechanism, or an expression of, underlying emotional stress
  • Men who were overweight and/or teased about their size are often more at risk of developing an eating disorder. Bullying seems to be a common experience for adults as well as children
  • Sufferers may participate in sports that demand a particular body build (thin or big). Runners or jockeys are at a higher risk of developing anorexia and bulimia, while footballers or weightlifters will focus on getting bigger. Wrestlers who try to shed pounds quickly before a bout so they can compete in a lower weight category seem to be at special risk. Body builders are at risk if they deplete body fat and fluid reserves to achieve high definition
  • A sufferer may have a job or profession that demands a certain look. Male models, actors, and entertainers seem to be at higher risk than the general population.

NHS Choices: