Group addresses image concerns
In an attempt to address concerns about students' body images and issues with food, the Saint Mary's Counseling and Career Development Center will introduce a support group for females struggling with these issues.
"Eating disorders are usually surrounded with much shame and guilt," said Kristina Pendley, personal counselor and director of the new body image program at Saint Mary's College.
The group is designed to help women deal with self-esteem and understand their emotions.
"It is designed for girls who don't have a good handle on emotions and what they feel," Pendley said. "It will help girls understand why they do what they do."
The program hopes to enlist four to eight students in each group. The groups are completely confidential, based upon the cooperation of the group.
The idea is based upon the "ABC system," Pendley said, referring to the creed of activating what brought upon the problem, having a belief system, and knowing the consequences of actions.
The group will focus not just on the body, but nutrition, modern culture and a realistic outlook on life, Pendley said.
To enter the group, participants can make an appointment with Pendley by calling 284-4565. The appointment will help evaluate conditions and place people in groups of women with similar problems.
The program has been attempted previously, but because of a lack of interest it was dropped.
Pendley urges women who have an interest in the group, or know someone who is in need of help, to make an appointment.
"It has been brought to attention that body image is very important among women of all ages and race," Pendley said.
Many women are very unhappy with they how look or how they perceive themselves, she added. This is when women resort to eating disorders.
Studies estimate nearly 5 million Americans suffer from eating disorders, two to three percent of them are college age.
Women with eating disorders tend to suffer from cardiac problems, studies show, including low blood pressure, fatigue and dizziness. Eating disorders can eventually cause osteoporosis and infertility.
All News Stories for Tuesday, September 7, 1999