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Eating disorders and the power of self-compassion
February 1 to 7 is Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness Week (PEDAW), a BC-wide campaign to raise awareness around prevention and early intervention of eating disorders. In light of this week, learn more about some of the eating disorders research taking place at St. Paul’s Hospital.
Growing evidence links self-compassion with good mental and physical health.
So what exactly does it mean to have compassion for oneself? It means being mindful, recognizing our common humanity in times of hardship, and practising self-kindness in times of suffering.
Researchers at St. Paul’s Hospital are currently exploring the role of self-compassion in eating disorders treatment and recovery. One year into a five-year study, their early findings suggest that self-compassion plays a significant and beneficial role when it comes to patient outcomes.
“What’s really striking is that individuals who have eating disorders have barriers to practising self-compassion,” noted Dr. Josie Geller, Registered Psychologist and Director of Research with the Eating Disorders Program at St. Paul’s.
Through interviews, her team has started to identify the reasons some patients may have difficulty practising self-compassion. They’ll then use their learnings to develop an intervention that aims to break down those barriers.