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Eating and Body Image Concerns

If you have done any reading or learning about eating disorders, you are likely to come across the phrase, "Its not really about the food,"which captures the complexities in treating those with eating disorders in a nutshell. I blend a variety of therapy styles and education based on the person I am working with to meet their unique needs.  I have a special interest in working with women who are pregnant or postpartum with a history of eating disorders, or those struggling with subsequent infertility.

Some common practices I use in therapy are:

- Increasing awareness of eating patterns (The who, what, where, why and when of eating).

- How emotions impact food choices and body checking behaviors.

- Educating on body systems, how they are impacted by restricting, dieting, purging or binge eating and how to get them back on track.

- Looking at trauma and using techniques like EMDR to help lessen the emotional impacts of trauma

- Encouraging bravery in making behavior changes- recovery from an eating disorder is HARD WORK! But sooo worth it

So what does recovery from an eating disorder look like?

"Being recovered is when a person can accept his or her natural body size and shape, and no longer has a self-destructive relationship with food and exercise."

"when you are recovered, food and weight take a proper perspective in your life, and what you weigh is no more important than who you are; in fact, actual numbers are of little or no importance at all." -Carolyn Costin

 
 
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Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

Anxiety is normal, its an experience we all get from time to time, but many people experience it far too frequent or intensely to the point where it hinders their life.

Some experience the physical feelings of anxiety like tightening in their chest or nausea. Others its the cognitive experience of their "mind racing" or being unable to get certain fears off their mind that are getting in the way for them. And for some its the behaviors linked to anxiety that bring them in for help- like avoiding places or people, over-controlling the world around then or seeking reassurance from others too often. These are just some of the common symptoms of anxiety, but they all come from the same place. 

Some of the common anxiety based goals I work with clients around are:

-Learning about the brain and how the fight, flight, freeze response is at the root of anxiety

- Mindfulness as a tool for training your mind to catch itself worrying and come back to the present moment

- Identifying and shifting unhelpful thoughts patterns

- Focusing on goals and not letting fears or worries stop you from achieving your goals (this means doing the things that scare you, even when they feel scary!)

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you have always got.
— Steven Hayes
To be no body but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.
— E.E. Cummings
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Pregnancy and Postpartum

Many women and their partners find themselves feeling lost or overwhelmed during the process of having a child. Becoming pregnant in itself is a complex process, and does not come easily for many, and for others leads to feelings and experiences that were not expected. Some common reasons people may choose to seek therapy during this time period are:

Increased anxiety or sadness during pregnancy Birth Trauma

Fears around childbirth and becoming a parent Feeling like you are a failure as a parent

Pregnancy or infant loss Depression, anger or scary thoughts

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You are not alone

Becoming a parent can be a isolating experience. Many people experience feelings or thoughts they don’t share with anyone, such as thinking of death, regret about having a child or a lack of connection with their infant. Please know you are not alone (or a bad person).Help is available.

The most recent statics show that 1 in 4 will experience the loss of a child between conception and infancy, and 1 in 7 women will experience a clinically significant mood or anxiety disorder during their postpartum period. This number is 1 in 10 for their partners (Postpartum Support International).