It's week three of our #WiseWords series, in which welldoing.org therapists share with us the books they recommend to their clients, or find specially powerful on the subject of therapy or wellbeing. This week's selection is by eating disorders and body image expert Harriet Frew, a BACP integrative counsellor in Cambridge
The Body Image Workbook by Thomas F Cash
If you dislike your body and want to know how to change this, then this book is for you. It deals with all types of body dissatisfaction from feeling too fat; self-conscious about a facial scar; ugly or unattractive or not muscular enough. It is a comprehensive ‘how-to’ book drawing on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques but written in an easily digestible style if you are new to self-help literature. This book has an abundance of case-studies bringing the subject matter alive, with many references for further reading if you are inspired. You will undoubtedly improve your body image for the better if you engage with this self-help manual.
Breaking Free from Emotional Eating by Geneen Roth
Not a new book on the market, but rather a classic, this remains one of the best self-help books for eating issues. If you are a yo-yo dieter, emotional or binge eater, this book will help you significantly in finding peace with food. Geneen writes engagingly about her own experiences, weaving her personal story through the pages, whilst also drawing on her knowledge of having supported many others to do the same. Many of my clients have loved this book.
On Eating by Susie Orbach
This book helps you reconnect with your natural hunger, freeing you from the shackles of dieting. When eating has become a guilt-ridden and anxiety-provoking experience, this book encourages you to go back to basics to enjoy food again, with a nourishing and caring back-drop throughout. It is a little book that can be carried around in your bag and dipped into for a mini portion of advice at any moment.
Getting Better Bite by Bite by Ulrike Schmidt and Janet Treasure
This is my favourite self-help book that I recommend to clients with Bulimia Nervosa. It offers a structured programme to help you overcome Bulimia, and is written in a style offering supportive companionship on your healing journey. It deals with understandable ambivalence about change, then guiding you through various exercises, drawing predominantly on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy techniques. It comes with an abundance of case-studies; answers your questions; offers active skills and techniques for change and plenty of further reading resources.