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

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

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

Do you eat to relieve tension? Maybe you call it by another name—stress, distress, anxiety, feeling antsy. Whatever you call it, the truth is that you don’t need to eat to release tension. By switching your view of it, you can reduce mindless eating. You may feel tension in the construct we call the mind. Your thoughts race, your self-talk stokes the fires of pressure building and building, and your head feels as if it’s…

Read More Releasing Tension to Decrease Mindless Eating

Many dysregulated eaters are filled with fear and anxiety, but don’t register them as major problems. Rather, they think that their problem is food or weight—or stress. If you’re often anxious and worried, it’s time to better understand these emotions. Although “Fears 2015” (Sarasota Herald Tribune, 1/18/15, pp. 4-7) is about our big cultural fears like Ebola, terrorism and, even gluten, author Maura Rhodes advises that that too much fear is something we should be…

Read More Are Your Eating Problems Caused by Fear and Anxiety?

If your partner, parent, friend or co-worker is abusive or neglectful, you might be unable to fathom how this person manages to feel okay about his or her behavior. How can people so not get what they’re doing wrong? Can’t they understand that the way they act and the things they say hurt people? How is it possible that they don’t recognize what’s acceptable and appropriate versus what’s unacceptable or inappropriate? It’s entirely possible—because they’re…

Read More Not Everyone Is As Reflective As You Are

Did you know that it’s healthy and necessary for well-being to cry? Although you may say you hate to cry, especially in front of others, that only means you have wrongly developed negative feelings about crying from family and culture. In “No sob story: the good news about crying” (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, page 38E), Mary Carpenter tells us why shedding tears is important. First and foremost, crying relieves stress. Most of you have probably experienced this…

Read More Why It’s Healthy to Cry

I was listening to an NPR program when the interviewee mentioned that, in order to change his life, her husband would need to see himself in a different way than his mother saw him. I thought how true it is that unless we’re viewed differently than how we see ourselves, we can carry around the same negative view our parents had of us for a lifetime. So, whose eyes do you see yourself through and…

Read More The Importance of Seeing Yourself through Different Eyes