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The Bigger Picture

A Paradigm Shift Around Weight is Occurring in Our Field

Judith Matz • 11/26/2018 • 3 Comments

By Judith Matz - Societal norms regarding weight, health, and eating affect every client we work with, regardless of body size. Here's how you can support people of all sizes when it comes to respecting and taking care of their bodies without inadvertently causing harm.

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The Healing Power of Childhood Memories

Peppering "Little Doses of Happiness" Into Your Daily Life

Rhegina Sinozich • 10/18/2018 • 1 Comment

By Rhegina Sinozich - If you really want to help people open a doorway to a different way in life, therapy needs to give them powerful experiences—positive ones. I've learned that the most powerful and effective way to get therapy off on the right note is to help clients access the power of the hope and openheartedness that’s embedded in childhood.

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Approaching Food Differently

Treating Binge Eating from a Non-Diet Perspective

Sandra Wartski • 3/9/2018 • 1 Comment

By Sandra Wartski - Although binge eating disorder is the most common type of eating disorder, many people suffering with it don’t get the help they need because of their embarrassment about their bodies and eating habits. The approach to treating it is similar to other eating-disorder work, but we need to be especially vigilant about addressing issues of self-agency and keeping the focus more on wellness than weight.

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Changing How You Think About Weight

Four Steps to Transform Your Internalized Views About Body Size

Judith Matz • 1/13/2017 • 2 Comments

By Judith Matz - I’ve come to believe that the way we as therapists feel about our clients’ body size is not only a clinical concern, but a social justice issue. It’s not easy to challenge internal attitudes that are reinforced every day in the general culture, but if you’re willing to go against the cultural current, here are some things you can do to help you assess—and transform—your internalized views about weight and dieting.

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The Hidden Link Between Food and Mood

You Don't Need to Be a Nutritionist to Give Good Advice about Eating

Ryan Howes • 12/26/2016 • 3 Comments

By Joan Borysenko - Most therapists have never had a course in nutrition. But what if your clients’ depression or anxiety is more connected to their diet and gut bacteria than to their relationships, or fears, or traumatic childhood? That’s the question that Joan Borysenko—author of 16 books about biology, psychology, and spirituality—wants you to consider. In the following interview, she shares what's she's learned about the link between food and mood.

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Effectively Treating Eating Disorders Is a Matter of Life and Death

What Needs to Happen in the First Session

Sandra Wartski • 10/9/2016 • 1 Comment

By Sandra Wartski - Any therapist who's worked with eating disorders knows that treatment can be a rocky journey. While it can be unpredictable, scary, and slow, my work with one client helped reinforce my optimism that recovery is possible.

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The Hidden Link Between Diets and Overeating

Why Therapists Need to Be Weight-Neutral

Judith Matz • 5/4/2016 • 4 Comments

By Judith Matz - Clients struggling with compulsive eating often seek therapy because they feel overeating may have an emotional component. But the idea that people overeat to soothe or avoid painful emotions is only part of the story. Dieting---intentional self-deprivation---sets in motion automatic physiological and psychological factors that actually trigger overeating. In fact, there's growing evidence that diets make us fat! And not only does dieting make people fatter: it affects psychological health.

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A Diet-Free Way to Help Clients with Eating Problems

Judith Matz on Abandoning Weight Loss as a Marker for Success

Judith Matz • 10/30/2015 • 2 Comments

Most therapists have been taught that if we can help clients understand the emotional triggers of their overeating, they’ll be able to control their behavior and lose weight. We tend to build strategies around nutrition, portion control, and exercise habits. But more often than not, the pursuit of weight loss typically triggers and sustains overeating. My focus with clients who have overeating and weight concerns is to help them learn how to have a healthy relationship with food. We therapists need to recognize that when we reinforce the notion of weight loss as a marker of success, we set our clients up to leave therapy with even more shame about one more failure.

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A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Solution for Losing Weight

Judith Beck on Why CBT Could Be Your Best Weight Loss Strategy

Judith Beck • 8/11/2015 • 5 Comments

Why is it so difficult to lose weight and keep it off? From the viewpoint of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the reason isn’t hard to find: knowing what to do and knowing how to get yourself to do it are entirely separate skills. When it comes to changing behavior, especially long-term, habitual patterns, getting yourself to do something different, even when you know it’s good for you, depends largely on what you tell yourself: that is, on your thinking. Outlined here is a program I’ve developed for nonpsychiatric (and noneating-disordered) individuals that utilizes the basic principles of CBT to address overeating directly.

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