Dr John Fox gives advice
Dr John Fox has been a Consultant Clinical Psychologist across both independent and NHS services since 2002. He is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is an Associate Fellow and Chartered Clinical Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS).
He has given his views to and advice to readers on eating disorders, stress and Cognitive Analytic Therapy.
A: Eating disorders are rare but serious mental health conditions. There are three main types; anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder. AN is hallmarked by being severely underweight, BN occurs in people who are normal weight and is associated with episodes of bingeing and vomiting, whilst binge eating disorder is bingeing without any attempt to remove food afterwards. These disorders are associated with poor body image and distress about bodies.
Q: What is the best way of dealing with stress?
A: We live in a busy, demanding world with lots of pressures on our time. There’s not one way of dealing with stress – often a combination of strategies can help. Techniques, like exercise and healthy eating, can assist in stress management, as can undertaking mindfulness. For me, the most important technique is sorting your priorities and building a hierarchy to ensure that you don’t focus on everything at the same time.
Q: What is Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)?
A: CAT is a form of therapy that differs from other established therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). It looks at the relationships in a person’s life (i.e. with ourselves and others) and it investigates the origins of these experiences, often from childhood and early life. It is a non-judging/blaming approach and it is a particularly useful therapy for eating disorders and stress, especially when other approaches have not worked.