Compulsive Eating

Compulsive Eating

Managing a house and a family can lead to a lot of tough days. And sometimes, the most obvious way to unwind at the end of a tough day is with a piece of cake and a glass of wine.

But what if enjoying a piece of cake always turns into mindlessly shoveling the whole thing in your mouth? Or relaxing with a glass of wine invariably means downing the whole bottle (or box!)? What if your clothes no longer fit because you’ve had too many bad days, and you don’t know how else to cope?

You are not alone with problematic eating and drinking. Turning to food or drink to soothe bad feelings is a method as old as time. But if that is your only method, and it’s begun to feel like you’ve lost control, therapy may be a good solution for you.

While it’s quite natural to experience cravings, the results of constantly giving in to them can be devastating:

  • Diabetes or other physical health problems
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Tension in relationships
  • Family stressors
  • Inability to effectively problem solve
  • Addiction

If you are someone who has used food or alcohol to cope with difficult feelings, you know that the consequences can be dire. You know how deeply upsetting it is to drown your emotions in food or booze. You know the pain of watching your children imitate your behavior, even the behavior you don’t intentionally to teach them.

When you struggle with compulsive eating or drinking, you have likely tried to stop on your own. Turn on any TV or website and you’ll see ads for weight control solutions. And at the same time, most women are receiving the message that they’re supposed to love themselves no matter what. The mainstream messages can be overwhelming and terribly confusing. Are you supposed to have everything under control and look perfect? Or are you supposed to accept yourself as you are and abandon any effort to change your habits?

Mainstream culture will tell you “you deserve a tasty treat” and then remind you that “you need to be thin.” I can help you find clarity in the midst of the mixed messages.

Psychotherapy offers real and effective solutions. At the core of the work is learning to tune in to your own body and mind, and take action from that solid foundation.

Therapy for compulsive eating can take a number of forms.  As we begin our work together, I we will decide on what approach is best for you. For some, it’s important to set weight and food goals, and use numbers as a guide. For others, taking a more intuitive approach is most comfortable. Our first task is to help you find clarity in the muddle of messages you get about food and weight. Then, we will structure our work around your individual priorities.

You will learn how to become aware of cravings and react to them with new skills. This also means learning how to feel emotions instead of eating or drinking them. So whether you want to set weight goals and count calories or you want to learn how to listen to your body and throw your scale out the window, I am here to support your journey.


How long will it take?

While I cannot predict exactly how long treatment will take, I will always expect to see real change within about 12 weeks, assuming we meet once a week. At the 12 week mark, we will do a review of how the work has been going and make sure it’s beneficial for you.

How much does it cost?

Therapy sessions cost $150 each. Over 12 sessions, that totals $1500. That’s less than the cost of many gimmicky weight loss solutions, and will have real lasting impact on all areas of your life. You are worth that kind of investment! Click here for more information about cost.

Why not just diet?

If you’re here reading this, then dieting hasn’t worked for you. It’s time to find another way. Working with a therapist means you are treating the root of your issue rather than the symptom.

What are sessions like?

We will start by mapping out a plan together. I will ask you some questions to get us started. In subsequent sessions, we will talk about how your previous week went. We will discuss any moments that came up over the week and how you handled them. If it is appropriate, we will determine a “homework” assignment, something to practice between sessions. This will most likely be some sort of mindfulness or journaling exercise, but may will always reflect what is most relevant for you. If there are challenges in completing work between session we will discuss those and find ways to problem solve. At the end of 12 weeks we will review the work you’ve done and whether you want to continue, change course, take a break, or end counseling all together.

What if we aren’t a good fit?

The key to effective therapy is having a solid and trusting relationship with your counselor. If either of us finds that our relationship is not working, I will provide you with referrals to other professionals.

How does any of this effect my parenting?

In order to teach your children how to have a healthy relationship with food, you first need to focus on yourself. Taking an hour a week to engage in your own therapy is a hugely important step in helping your kids succeed in life. It may not feel good in the moment to give yourself that hour (hello guilt!), but in the long run, you will become better equipped to show them healthy ways to deal with emotions. And that is a truly priceless skill, one that they will depend on for their whole lives.