“Is that what I look like? These pants are a size bigger than the last store. Is that person judging me right now?” These are thoughts that sometimes can plague a persons mind while at the mall. Now imagine having an eating disorder and having these thoughts amplified. That would be a challenge to deal with. At Inner Door we believe in facing challenges to move past them through exposure therapy. Recently, we participated in a trip to the mall. The mall can be extremely triggering because of the encounters you have to face – yourself in the mirror, being in front of other people and the sizes that you are trying on to mention a few.
We had two therapists and an intern present to provide emotional support. The “rational” and “irrational” thoughts were addressed. Being present in the moment and experiencing your feelings was encouraged. Visiting two stores showed the discrepancy in sizing and how a number is just a number.
After completing trying on clothes in two stores, everyone participated in pet therapy. We went into the local pet store and had the clients pick out a dog of their choice to spend time with. It was incredible to witness the clients go from crying to smiling and laughing.
The final part of our mall trip was to eat in the food court. The food court was minimized to one restaurant and selections needed to fit within the clients prescribed meal plan. Eating at a restaurant was difficult because of the number of choices and having to accept that there was a crowd and no control over preparing the food.
The mall trip was a display of girls who were fearless of going through the inner doors of their lives. We dealt with self-esteem, anxiety, self-worth, judgment, and avoidance all from trying on garments. The mall was a true depiction of what it was to use courage. They cried while putting on clothes and did it afraid. Although they are struggling with their new bodies they all stayed focus on their ultimate goal – recovery. We could not be more proud of the determination and hard work these clients put in.
Our cutting edge techniques can guide you to recovery. We are here to be your support team and provide the best treatment. Visit innerdoorcenter.com or call (248) 336-2868 to learn more today!