What Causes Mental Illness?

The current leading theory for the cause of the mental illness is the biopsychosocial model. The biopsychosocial model posits that mental illness comes about when accumulative biological, psychological, and social and environment causes collide. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy calls this phenomena “the perfect storm.”

For example, someone with an anxiety disorder may have biological factors such a a family history of anxiety, psychological factors such as low-esteem and an anxious or cautious temperament, and may have social environmental factors such as bullying in school.

The myriad of factors that contribute to mental illness helps explain why each individuals experience is so unique.

Eating Disorders

We take a transdiagnostic approach to eating disorders, meaning that we don’t focus on specific diagnosis (eg. Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder) but instead focus on the disordered relationship with food and the body.

In addition to working on your relationship with food and your body, we believe that in order to achieve full recovery, you also need to address your underlying issues. We believe that eating disorders are not about food, weight, and shape, but that deep down they are really about pain and discomfort

In this way the food and body image difficulties act like a mirror, reflecting a deeper, more complicated pain.

Some examples of common underlying issues that need to be worked through in order to achieve full recovery include:

- Perfectionism
- Self-doubt
- Inappropriate guilt and self-blame
- Poor sense of self (lack of identity)
- Trauma experiences
- Relationship difficulties (this can include family, friendships, and romantic relationships)
- Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or emptiness
- Feelings of unworthiness or inadequacy
- Ongoing pressure from others or yourself to achieve academically, in sports, or in other areas
- Difficulty managing and/or communicating feelings
- A strong need to be in control

Through addressing these underlying issues, you can work towards not only a positive relationship with food and your body, but a meaningful life that includes, joy, pleasure, flexibility, freedom, and spontaneity.

All clinicians at Exhale Psychology Centre are trained in a range of evidence based therapies to ensure that we can use the right therapy for you.

We offer:
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy - Enhanced (CBT-E)
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
CBT based Trauma Therapy
Schema Therapy
Schema based Trauma Therapy
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)
Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)

How we can help

We specifically focus on chronic and complex mental health issues with a range of evidence based therapies that can be delivered in person or via telehealth

Presenting Issues

Treatment Options