Body Image
Individual Counseling & Therapy | Columbia, Mo

I am allowed to look sexy, feel sexy, and be in love. I am worthy of all of those things. And so are you.
— Mary Lambert

The Basics: What is Body Image?

On a super basic level, we’re talking about your general perception of your body and attractiveness. Simple, right?

It’s also so much more than that.

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Body image is about how you feel in your own skin. It’s about how you literally see yourself in a mirror, as well as the mental representation you have for yourself when you think about yourself. If you’re thinking about coming in for individual counseling with our (fantastic) team for body image, you might benefit from skimming this page first to see if we’d be a good fit!

Do I have body image issues?

Although we can’t answer that directly for you, we can give you some ideas for how you might be able to answer that questions for yourself. With that said, this list is not exhaustive, meaning that there’s more to body image issues than what we’re going to cover right here. All that aside, here are some signs that you might struggle with body image:

  • preoccupation with body checking via self-touch or mirror checks

  • complete avoidance of looking in the mirror at all costs

  • can’t stop thinking about that one flaw you (think you) have

  • frequent comparison of yourself/your body with others

  • thinking, “if I only looked…,” then I’d be happy/worthy/fulfilled

  • crafting your outfit or makeup to cover your perceived flaws

  • you don’t believe people when they pay you a compliment

  • you avoid being in pictures and/or make sure the picture captures you in the “perfect” way

  • you postpone life for losing weight (i.e. “I can’t go on vacation until I lose xx pounds!”)

  • worry about looking “good enough” for your partner, despite their affirmation that you’re more than enough

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To reiterate, this isn’t every single indicator that you might struggle with body image. On the other hand, if you found yourself nodding along to one or two of the above, and you’re thinking about counseling, then it’s probable that you’d benefit from discussing some of this in individual counseling with our team.

What can I expect from body image counseling and therapy?

You can expect a variety of things from body image counseling. First and foremost, it’s pretty likely that your struggle with body image is happening in conjunction with another factor, including (but not limited to) anxiety, depression, disordered eating, low self-worth or self-esteem, or gender identity.

If that is the case, then please note that you’re not alone. It’s really common that individuals who struggle with body image issues also tend to struggle with another factor.

It’s also important to note that your counselor (if you so choose to start doing some counseling with us) is going to not only help you understand and unpack how these factors are related, but will also help you to figure out how to deal, cope, and manage them.

On a personal level, you can expect to be treated with patience, support, and understanding. At the same time, your counselor won’t sit back like a voiceless, lifeless entity, without giving you any feedback or asking questions designed to get you reflecting and thinking about yourself.

Can males struggle with this, too?

Our answer is a resounding and emphatic yes. Absolutely yes, males can also struggle with body image. It’s a little more stigmatized, but it’s also more popular than you might know or believe. The sad news is people tend to have less patience and understanding when their male partner/friend/child/parent struggles with body image issues. We aren’t those people and you won’t be met with anything but understanding and acceptance. It’s hard enough to do this type of work; we’re not here to make it harder.

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I think I’m ready or I have more questions. Now what?

If you think you’re ready, then you can email us to schedule a session or ask your questions, you can call us at 573-586-3204, or you can submit your information through our contact form (also by clicking below). We’re happy to get any questions you have answered or to get you started with a counselor as soon as you’re ready.

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