Everyone needs food to live but, for some, their relationship with food is a cause for distress. Some people eat too little to sustain their body’s needs while others eat more than what their body needs. Sometimes, it is more about the way a person feels about eating, whether this is anxiety, guilt, shame, or out of control. Many also struggle with either allowing hunger of fullness. For some, there has been a lifetime of trying to control eating and feeling like a failure. Issues with food are often accompanied by struggles with body image.
I believe issues with food are often about a disconnect between our mind and our body, in which our mind tries to determine the needs of our body and a person becomes convinced they cannot trust their body. Issues with food often also can come between the person and the people that are important to them, as food is a central part of social experiences in our society. The struggle with eating can disconnect us from others. Sometimes, issues with food can also disconnect us from our emotions or our experiences.
In therapy, I like to begin by getting an understanding of what your relationship with food, your weight, and your body has looked like over time as well as your goals for change. I will collaborate with you regarding your goals to ensure they will take you closer to both mental and physical health. We can focus on identifying steps to helps you move toward mental and physical health, identifying both barriers to making the changes that are desired and learning skills as needed to support the changes.
When all aspects of an eating disorder are treated simultaneously, long term recovery is possible. I believe eating disorders are most effectively treated within the context of a treatment team in order to address the physical and emotional aspects of an eating disorder simultaneously. This means that I will generally request permission to speak with your dietitian, psychiatrist, and/or physician as needed to make sure you are safe, well, and addressing all aspects of the eating disorder to help promote long term recovery.