Eating disorder counsellor

Dr Joan Collett Somerset West, Helderberg, Stellenbosch

Specialisations Eating disorders

I am expertly qualified and equipped to deal with a range of problems and/or addictions. My primary area of expertise is eating disorders (Anorexia Nervosa/Bulimia Nervosa), though my therapeutic care and support extends to include substance abuse/addiction, depression and relationship counselling.

Eating Disorders: Confronting Deeper Hurts

My View on Eating Disorders

Contrary to popular belief that anorexia and bulimia are issues isolated to food and eating, I believe that they are about feelings. Rather than viewing obsessive eating behaviours as the root of the problem, I view them as superficial symptoms masking what is, in fact, a deeper hurt – the hurt of a self that is seeking to be noticed; a self that has fallen out of love with itself.

Serious Afflictions

Anorexia and bulimia are disorders that lie very close to my heart – I’ve witnessed first-hand the devastating and destructive effect they can have on their victims, in extreme cases even resulting in death.

I cannot understand how everything changed so quickly. I realise I am not okay. I feel guilty, the fingers in my throat have become like gods, when I vomit I feel safe...

Mari, 20

I fight against food and getting sick until late in the day because I do not want my food to come out again! I am eating less but I feel fatter! I cannot eat today because I do not want to vomit again...

Anna, 16

But it became obsessive, the point counting It became addictive, watching the scale dial move down. Fitting into smaller clothes. The compliments There was a glamour about it, a shimmer, a sparkle...

Rene, 15

If you, or a loved one, display any of the following signs or symptoms, you may be suffering from an eating disorder, (anorexia or bulimia):

  • Secretive restriction/purging of food which provides a sense of control
  • Feelings of uneasiness and anxiety, especially in the company of others
  • Loneliness and hurting
  • Excessive suspicion or distrust, overwhelmed by a feeling that no-one understands
  • Constant comparison and evaluation of yourself in terms of others
  • Possessing a deep uncertainty with regard to your sense of meaning/direction/purpose in life
  • People close to you are worried/have expressed concern

These symptoms underlying anorexia or bulimia are usually coupled with the following coping strategies:

  • Increasingly rigid diet
  • Over-eating or bingeing
  • The need to exercise longer and harder
  • The abuse of laxatives
  • Self-mutilation (cutting or burning)
  • Withdrawal and a need for isolation

Acknowledging the presence of an eating disorder is by no means a show of weakness or source of shame – it is a sign of strength, and an integral first step toward recovery and healing.

If you recognise any of the above behaviours, don’t wait, contact me now!

I Can Help! I offer effective and proven treatment – holistically integrated and individualised therapy.

Read more how my Individual Counselling can help you >>


Joan Collett - Counselling Somerset West

Dr Joan Collett, Registered Counsellor, Somerset West.

Joan has extensive experience, training and qualifications in narrative counselling and her specialist knowledge is based on more than a decade of research and counselling.

  Contact Joan
  Dr Joan Collett

10 Radloff Road, Somerset West,
Western Cape - 7130.

082 531 9270
021 851 3166