Notes to Therapists and Clients

Our clients report the subjective sense of impaired control during episodes of overeating and any number of the following symptoms:

  • Eating much more rapidly than normal
  • Eating until uncomfortably full
  • Eating large amounts of food, even when not physically hungry
  • Eating alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food being consumed
  • Feelings of disgust, depression or guilt with overeating
  • Continuing the cycle of overeating while believing that tomorrow they will have a fresh start on todays binge
  • Becoming disembodied from the experience of the unhealthy foods they are feeding their bodies and minds
  • An increased experience of unworthiness and poor self image in their personal, professional and social worlds

The primary goals of treatment should include:

  • Recognizing the strategies and patterns of the problem
  • Recognizing perfectionism and “all or nothing” thinking
  • Reducing self-blame by separating the person from the problem
  • Recognizing the cultural context that encourages binge-eating
  • Identifying physical vs. emotional hunger
  • Increasing capacity to tolerate feeling states (ie: identifying stress-driven eating habits)
  • Acknowledging your pre-existing knowledge of health and nutrition and putting this wisdom to work in new ways
  • Learning how to speak your unspoken needs to others and to yourself so that the need to “feed” and cover up the emptiness and anxiety is lessened over time
  • Improving body image and learning self-care
  • Identifying that eating slip-ups lead to a binge and an “I’ll start tomorrow” negative pattern of thinking
  • Recognizing recovery as a “process” of patience and positive thinking
  • Identifying and resolving depression, anxiety and fears that affect the problem
  • Offering alternative emotional options and possibilities
  • Involvement of family and friends
  • Keeping a diary of all the destructive strategies and tricks the inner conversations of emotional eating suggest as solutions
  • Keeping a diary of all the times you could have given way to the binge eating tactic but somehow were able to act on your own behalf and towards health

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