Anxiety and eating disorders


Presenter: Katherine
Guest: Karen Seinor
Guest Bio: Karen Seinor. Karen has worked in the Allied Health field for nearly 20 years and has a track record for successfully assisting people with anxiety based issues that range from anxiety or panic attacks to wedding nerves. As a leader in the field of Anxiety treatment, Karen draws on a range of cutting edge, specialist transformational therapies that are complementary to her work as a Clinical Hypnotherapist.

Segment Overview
Karen is here to talk to us about anxiety & eating disorders.



Health Professional Radio

Katherine Lodge: Thank you for listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m Katherine and today our guest is Karen Seinor. Karen has worked in the Allied Health field for nearly 20 years and has a track record of successfully assisting people with anxiety based issues that range from anxiety and panic attack to wedding nerves. As a leader in field of anxiety treatment, Karen draws on a range of cutting edge, specialist, transformational therapies that are complementary to her work as a clinical hypnotherapist. Karen is here to talk to us about anxiety and eating disorders. Welcome to our show Karen.

Karen Seinor: Thank you Katherine. I’m really happy to be here.

KL: Thanks for coming on. And to start off with, I was wondering how is anxiety and also eating disorders link?

KS: Okay, that’s a really good question. When I talk with a client who is experiencing an eating disorder and it’s a pretty standard practice whenever someone comes in to do a body of work with me. I sort of work through a personal timeline and identify what the significant events are in their in life. So in doing that, it highlights the issue points, the points where there are pain. And they are the points where anxiety can develop and I mean that’s a pretty logical thing with this, wouldn’t you say?

KL: Yes, sure. Yeah and let’s talk a little bit about eating disorders, like how common do you think they are?

KS: Well, very common actually. It’s something like 5 in 100 Australians are suffering from some form of eating disorder. Those are pretty high numbers.

KL: For sure. And what are the types of eating disorders? I think you know most of us have heard of things such as anorexia, bulimia – things like that.

KS: In truth, there’s a whole bunch of them with some really fancy names but they do actually fall into either of those categories. Anorexia is really where people are restricting the amount of food that they’re taking in and Bulimia is where people are binging. So they are overeating to the extreme and being they are purging, so they’re slipping their fingers down their throat and making themselves vomit basically.

KL: Right.

KS: So they fit into those two categories pretty much.

KL: I see, and thanks for explaining that. Also if you have a loved one or even yourself, like if you think you have an eating disorder, how can one recognize this?

KS: Okay. So you know the behavior so people, the things that you’re doing, if your exercising to extreme, you know looking at your own eating habits, people who are constantly dieting, skipping meals. In truth, it’s quite interesting because a lot of the time people are less aware of what they’re doing themselves and more aware of family members and friends. So those sorts of things, if you’re looking at people around you with sudden loss of weight or someone who’s always tired, signs of frequent vomiting and a frequent change in weight. So up and down now, the vomiting seems sounds funny but you know you binge to still be the person who pick that up because someone who’s vomiting on a regular basis, acid in the stomach will come up and will actually create damage in the teeth.

KL: For sure. Yeah, like you said, normally it’s people around you that will notice these changes or I’m glad that you brought up dieting because there are a lot of people who diet but in the kind of a healthy way. And if that make sense they are still eating and there’s still nutrition but they’re just doing maybe some portion control or things like that. But yeah if you notice that it, I guess gets to a point where it’s some affecting or almost okay, fixation on food. Some trigger points, so thanks for that. And so you have dealt with a lot of clients with eating disorders for the type of work that you do with hypnotherapy and other therapies, can you tell us maybe an overview of the process that you go through and maybe some real life examples and case studies?

KS: Okay. So I’ll give you, to be honest with you I haven’t dealt with any men although there are men who’s suffering from eating disorder but not in my clinic. I haven’t experience that.

KL: Right.

KS: Mostly younger women, so like teens to you know mid or early mid 30’s. What I’m seeing more than anything … direct me if I start to wonder about you Katherine.

Both: (Laughing)

KL: That’s okay.

KS: A big give away is maybe I’m seeing people who are restricting their food or doing lots and lots of exercise to the extreme. But the key thing is low self-esteem, distorted body image, and lots and lots of anxiety, anxious behavior so … and can you just give me the question again?

KL: Oh I was wondering at the process that you go through with when they have been identified and maybe they’ve been referred to you or they put their hand up and can separate themselves and say, “You know what, I do have. It’s getting out of control, I want to take control back.” So if someone would have come to you, what is the process that you go through with them?

KS: Okay. So I talked before about doing that timeline of significant events, I usually start there. And one of the things I’ve noticed is part of the process is to get them to actually recognize that they do have an issue because most of the time people come in to and they’ll tell me, “I used to have an eating disorder.” Understandably, they look like a match stick with the wick shaved off.

KL: Right.

KS: So a lot of the time, there’s not a clear recognition or ownership of the fact that there is an eating disorder. Sometime, it’s the family members who brought them in or they’re in a new relationship and they’re not able to hide things as much. Number one is about getting ownership of the fact that there is an issue. The second thing is I need to work with my client to get them into a space where they are genuinely prepared to actually sort it. And it sounds like a funny thing but people with eating disorders and particularly with anorexic, the restrictive behavior – they don’t want to resolve the problem. And that’s why so many interventions are not successful because this whole thing is about having control, this is how people are giving themselves control over their life because bottom line there have been a loss of controller crossing of extreme boundaries in the past somewhere. Once that happens and then it’s about actually moving the energy away from that initial event that caused that thing of loss of control, does that make sense?

KL: Yeah, it does. Yeah well thank you for telling us about that process. And before we finish off, you actually have a clinic out in Albury. Can you tell us a bit about your clinic?

KS: Okay. So I’m in David Street in Albury and my clinical work is basically I’m focused on anxiety. That’s really the majority of my work, because most industries do slide in under that topic so things around weight and self-image and performance anxiety, even anger. So in the practice I use clinical hypnotherapy and I also use things like … linguistic programming, coaching, techniques, a whole bunch of things depending on what the client needs.

KL: Exactly, so you can customize it to whatever they need.

KS: Absolutely, you can’t compete with other people…

KL: Well thank you so much for joining us today. And thank you so much for sharing with us.

KS: My pleasure, absolute pleasure. Thank you for your time.