Since childhood, I’ve observed our culture’s preoccupation with food, weight, and shape has dictated people’s sense of self-worth and value. And, I’ve seen how these beliefs have thwarted people’s abilities to participate fully in their life.
We face food constantly. It is a fact of life: food nourishes our body and fuels our mind. However, many of us have the experience that what sustains us may also engender a sense of shame and anxiety. When we come to rely on food–too much or too little–to cope or self-soothe, it can interfere with our ability live and love the way we’d like to.
These behaviors might show up as an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge eating disorder. Or it might manifest as emotional eating, feeling out of control with food, skipping meals, numbing through food, excessive exercise, which may not fit neatly into the definition of any one eating disorder. People of any size or shape may try to escape an emotional experience by preoccupying themselves with eating or by obsessing over their weight or shape.
I view disordered eating behaviors as serving an adaptive functions for a person, providing ways of nurturing or protecting oneself, soothing tension, expressing anger, dissociating from a traumatic event, or creating an identity. And yet, over time this becomes unworkable for a person for reason or another. My passion for this population is helping people struggling with these issues to pave a path of joy, compassion, well-being, and balance.
Many of the clients I work with struggle with eating problems also struggle with depression, anxiety, or addictions. In our work together, we will pay attention to the underlying origins and causes of symptoms, so as to find life long recovery and stability. Each client is unique with their story and work they want to accomplish, so we often experiment with various tools to see what resonates for each person–whether than be DBT, ACT, EMDR, or IFS.