Possibilities for change

by planet-therapy founder Stephen Madigan, PhD.

I recently joined a binge eating and obesity team as a group therapist. I work alongside a nutritionist and two medical doctors . Although I have spent many years running anti-anorexia/bulimia groups in hospitals wards, private practice and the community, I knew nothing of this “other” disordered eating group. As a way to educate myself on the issue, I set about soliciting the local knowledge from the persons attending the group. During the second group, I interviewed the group to solicit their expert knowledge and to re-locate the problem discussion. The following questionnaire was drawn up after the third group session and includes their voice, experience, and telling of events connected to the problem.

The Weight is Over – part one

  • Do you ever wonder how it is that on certain days you are able to stand up for your health and against the “damaging voices” that invite you into practices of poor health?
  • How do you make sense of your abilities to do this?
  • What aspects of you come forward to speak on your behalf when the stress of life forces you to eat?
  • In what ways do you notice and appreciate all the ways in which you are able to stand against the damaging conversations?
  • Are you in any way amazed at yourself for now being able to notice all the dirty little habits and tactics the problem uses that con you into going against your best knowledge of yourself?
  • Can you identify the number one tactic the problem uses to force its debilitating ways onto you?
  • Do you believe that it uses a sence of hopelessness by telling you that your efforts towards health on other people who are also struggling?
  • How do you explain how the problem is able to dominate the fears of so many smart minded people?
  • Can you locate where the problem of “emotional eating” originates?
  • Are there aspects of our community that help this problem along? Name them.
  • Once you have identified the conversation of guilt, are you able to recognize what you do that enables you to be free of its invitation?
  • What assists you most in being able to thwart off the idea that you are an illegitimate person because of your size?
  • Are there persons and ideas in your life that are problem conversation helping?
  • How do they help the damaging conversations along?
  • Are there persons and ideas in your life that are problem-resisting?
  • How do they stand alongside you and help you stand up for your health?
  • If you could give one bit of advice to another person struggling, what would this advice be?

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