Is this for me? A checklist to help you decide.

It is very important to find a therapist who feels like a good fit. A trusting relationship is the foundation of good therapy and I am dedicated to helping clients determine if my services will be a good fit. Below are several questions that you can ask yourself to help determine if our work together will be meaningful.

1) Have your friends or family expressed concern?

It is not uncommon for loved ones of those who have eating disorders to share concerns. Eating disorders can be dangerous and for some cause weight loss or gain, making noticeable changes alarming. Involving family and close friends in your recovery is an important step in the healing process.

2) Do you hide certain food behaviors?

Shame thrives in secrecy. When behaviors start to spin out of control, the tendency is to hide them from others as a form of protection. Unfortunately, this increases shame and guilt, two main drivers of eating disorders. What are you hiding?

3) Does your body image prevent you from being social?

We are social beings. We are wired for connection. Having poor body image can make socializing extremely difficult and can lead to social phobias and increased anxiety. Because isolating is associated with higher rates of mental illness, creating a roadmap of how you can reconnect socially will be an important part of our work together.

4) Is intimacy negatively impacted?

Intimacy. The ability to be close, to trust. This can be extremely difficult if you can't trust yourself or your own body. Take a moment to reflect on emotional and physical the intimacy in your life. What would you like to change?

5) Do you have heightened anxiety in social settings?

Social anxiety can be debilitating. When you are consumed with thoughts about food and the way you look on top of the social anxiety it can be enough to keep you from going out at all. Learning the tools to reduce food and body anxiety is an essential step in restoring your social functioning.

6) Do you feel disconnected emotionally?

Our bodies are complex. The mind-body connection has many interconnected systems, meaning no one behavior is in isolation from another. For example, bingeing on food requires a disconnection from hunger and fullness cues. When we disconnect from physical sensations the brain also learns to disconnect from emotional sensations. Rebuilding the trust between the mind and body is essential part of making peace with food.

 

What Your Relationship with Food Really Means

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Understanding the unique relationship you have with food can provide insight into other aspects of your life including the way you respond to thoughts and feelings.

How do you respond to hunger? Fullness? Do you control what you eat? What happens in a social setting where food is involved?

In therapy we will explore many questions that will help paint a picture of your relationship with food. Creating clarity around these behaviors leads to insight into other important areas of your life such as:

  • Perceived level of control
  • Patterns of Isolation/withdrawal
  • Emotional fullness vs Physical fullness
  • The ability to cope with uncomfortable feelings
  • Processing past trauma

What does this mean?

Your relationship with food goes beyond the food. If it was as easy as controlling the food you eat... you would have been healed of food problems with the first diet you ever started. Making peace with food doesn't begin with the food, it begins with YOU.

 

 

Do I need therapy?

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Throughout my career as a therapist, I have heard these question many times.

Do I need therapy? How do I know if I need therapy? Will I be ok without therapy?

My initial response is, "You tell me! You have been able to get through life without this far....

but what makes you ask?"

The conversation then shifts from a place of worry to curiosity. The truth is, humans are extremely resilient. Even in the most extreme circumstances of change, illness, and loss humans are able to survive and continue living their lives. So why therapy?

Because what you don't know can be potentially harmful to the relationship you have with yourself and those around you. Therapy facilitates a learning process where insight is gained and information is learned. Specific information such as the way you process emotions and memories. 

And from insight, we gain knowledge. From knowledge, we gain awareness. Through awareness comes freedom. The freedom to choose how we want to respond and live our lives.

So then the question moves from "Why would I? to "Why wouldn't I?"

 

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