I thought I’d written on this topic before because it’s something I talk about all the time with clients, but I couldn’t find a blog about making decisions by the pride-and-shame method. This is a very simple way to make choices. It totally bypasses internal conflicts and focuses only on how the decision will make you feel: proud or ashamed. Sometimes, it’s quite clear cut how we’ll feel after we do something. If you were…

Read More Decision-making via Pride and Shame

In 2009 I wrote a blog, Stages of Relationship Health, that I often refer to when discussing abuse. I suggest that you read it before reading this one. The blog describes three stages people move through to get out of an abusive relationship: 1) passivity and compliance, 2) anger, and 3) leaving the relationship. Talking with a client about anger at her narcissistic, abusive daughter and son-in-law, we established that she was moving from stage…

Read More Standng Up to Abuse

My own mentor has often reminded that when I set a new intention to cultivate a new practice or mindset, what happens next is that everything that is unlike my new goal gets rooted out. And before it goes, I have to endure the unpleasantness of seeing it all parading before me on its way out the door. So, for instance, if I set a goal to practice humility, what I first have to experience…

Read More Letting What You Don’t Need Go

One challenging task of adulthood can be accepting your parents as highly flawed individuals. If they’re generally wonderful, mentally healthy people and occasionally exhibit a fragile, irrational, quirky, or upsetting aspect of themselves, that’s one thing. It’s another to accept them being considerably mentally unhealthy. Yet, acceptance is essential for your own emotional health and, often, for becoming a “normal” eater. Most clients, over time, come to see that their emotional problems today are due…

Read More Accepting Parents as Highly Flawed

I was listening to an interview on NPR a while back and a remark made stuck in my mind . To paraphrase, it went like this: The question isn’t whether you have the right to do something, but whether it’s right for you. Hmm, I thought, this is exactly what troubled eaters need to know about making food choices. Many of you struggle with feeling deprived of or entitled to food. You’ve dieted and restricted…

Read More Having the Right or Doing What’s Right for You

This is my wish for each of you, yes. But what is YOUR wish for you? More important than what your parents want for you, what your significant other wants for you, what your treatment team wants for you, what your best friend wants for you, is what you want for you. What you want – what you truly, deeply and fully want – will drive what you let in. The more you can hone…

Read More What You Want Determines What You Let In

The Therapeutic “Aha!”: 10 Strategies for Getting Your Clients Unstuck by Courtney Armstrong, M.Ed. is too good to share with only therapists, so I decided to blog about it for my lay readers. First, I’m hoping that those who are in therapy will be intrigued enough to share this book’s ideas with their therapists (clients often mention psych or self-help books they’d like me to read in order to help them—and occasionally even buy the…

Read More Book Review: The Therapeutic “Aha!”: 10 Strategies for Getting Your Clients Unstuck

Please understand – when I say "together, we…" I am not talking about you and Ed. I am talking about you and YOU. While it is of course extremely important that you have supportive others on your recovery team (including professionals and loved ones), and you deserve support from others, all the support in the world will not help you make one iota of recovery progress if you are against yourself. You have to learn…

Read More Empowering “Team You”