Anyone who is an emotional eater or has an eating disorder knows how difficult it can be to change their eating patterns.  Talk therapy, exercise and diet plans may work to some extent. If you are an emotional eater or have a diagnosed eating disorder and are still struggling Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy may help transform your relationship with food and your relationship with self for good.

Those that have an eating disorder or just binge eat at times often use food as a source of comfort, a way to cope with stress or suppress difficult emotions in everyday life.  Food can become a way of avoiding feelings and thoughts from the past.  If you starve yourself, on the other hand, as with anorexia nervosa this can be a way of controlling your environment if there was a lack of emotional safety and security somewhere on your timeline.

Eating disorders can have biological factors and may be a result of environmental stressors as well as psychological components.  Eating disorders can be caused by several small T traumas which include anything from bullying at school or name calling at home.  These small T traumas if there are enough of them can be as significant as a Big T trauma such as sexual assault or physical abuse so it is important to not brush these smaller incidents under the table.

When processing the traumatic events with EMDR that has led to the eating disorder or binge eating problem, we firstly identify the flashback memory and scale the intensity of that memory.  EMDR functions by taxing the working memory the outcome by which the traumatic memory loses its emotional charge.  The body releases the somatic sensations attached to the memory that over time reduce the intrusive thoughts and triggers whilst changing the belief attached to the memory.

Someone with an eating problem may tirelessly go from one diet to another trying to address their eating habits on a practical level.  Understanding the health significance of certain foods and learning to see food as “fuel” instead of “comfort” is important.  The psychological aspects, however, are equally important when treating an emotional eating problem or eating disorder.  If there is unprocessed trauma sitting in one’s nervous system, it is unlikely they will get the results they are looking for.

A wholistic approach is important when treating emotional eating and eating disorders that includes a psychological treatment plan.  EMDR goes to the root of the limiting belief and the repressed emotion that keeps the body in auto pilot.  With EMDR, the trauma and negative belief has been processed the body no longer has a mind of its own.  The mind body connection heals, and the emotional eater can regain control over their eating habits at a core level.

Please contact me if you would like an appointment.