We might normally not think about it, but we have a very intimate relationship with food, often spending more time with it, than with many of our loved ones. We use food for pleasure, for comfort, to make occasions more special, to alleviate difficult feelings or boredom, as a gift, or to nurture ourselves and others in thoughtful and loving ways, to name but a few of the ways we use food.
Billions a year is spent by industries trying to get us to eat their produce or to lose weight their way. For many people, their relationship with food can become a battle ground as they fight with their weight, their fat, their appetite and their endless thoughts about it.
Our relationship with food is a complicated one and for some it can mirror their complex relationship with deepest self. It can be valuable to take time to explore the issues arising out of our relationship to food and how it serves us or otherwise. I support people who are seeking change in their lives and family members whose loved ones are having difficulties.
As a humanist and integrative psychotherapist I work to support clients make sense of the deeper meaning of their relationship with food, as they come to recognise their problematic relationship with it. We explore the purpose of their behaviour, both acknowledging its protective value in the past and its present cost to their life and well being.
I support clients cultivate compassion for themselves as they explore the experiences which have led to its development. I work with clients to accept, experience and express their feelings and needs as valid, while supporting them to make life affirming choices on their own behalf.
The relief of symptoms or the gaining or losing of weight is not the aim of psychotherapy, rather it is how clients come to feel about themselves, their world and their place in it. I use supportive counselling, psycho-education, mindfulness techniques and CBT techniques, tailoring my approach to individual clients' needs.