« I have an eating problem. How can a psychologist help me? »
We could understand an eating related issue as an attempt to solve inner distress. The “food solution” allows us to better tolerate certain emotions, relationships or situations. Without surprise, this type of solution generates other difficulties such as unwanted weight gain, body dissatisfaction and shame, various health problems, isolation,…). It is often at that moment that a person may feel the urgency to change their eating habits, and turn to superficial fixes such as dieting, or eating and exercise plans. Slimming practices and programs are the first to benefit from this sense of urgency and despair.
All too often eating disorders are misunderstood and either seen as a lack of willpower (“if you can’t do it, you just don’t want it enough”) or a bad habit to change.
Whether you suffer from compulsive eating, an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia), or day long food obsessions (or calorie count), it is important to aknowledge that both CONTEXT and BEHAVIOR come into play.
This is why, I work in collaboration with a dietician who is trained in intuitive eating, designed to help you reconnect with your natural body sensations and hunger cues.
The psychological work will mostly consist of identifying how your relational and contextual difficulties trigger and maintain the need to continue eating a certain way. Without this step in the process, I often notice people either having difficulties implementing the intuitive eating exercises, relapsing or moving from one problem to another (such as an addiction).
For the work with the dietician, I find it essential to find a friendly body and mind approach. This is why, I happily integrated into my treatment the intuitive eating approach, originally developed by the G.R.O.S. (Groupe de Réflexion sur l’Obesité et le Surpoids)* . I, therefore, highly recommand scheduling an appointment with the G.R.O.S. dietician Olivia CAPOT, also consulting in Nivelles.
* The intuitive eating approach, developed by the G.R.O.S. (Groupe de Réflexion sur l’Obésité et le Surpoids) consists of helping the individual, through concrete exercises, retrieve a feeling of freedom and pleasure while eating, without dieting or guilt-ridden rules. All designed to help you find and keep a healthy weight. More information here (https://www.gros.org/).
Focus on the gut microbiota – New collaboration
More and more research shows the link between emotional distress and disbiosis (impaired gut microbiota). If what brings you to consult a psychologist is also accompanied by other problems such as recurring intestinal problems, chronic inflammation, diverse food intolerances, regular bloating, etc., I invite you to contact my colleague Caroline CAJOT, nutritherapist and specialist in gut-microbiota, who will analyze the overall health of your gut-microbiota (aka “second brain”). Her nutritional and health recommendations should help you boost your mood and immunity as well as make your gut-microbiota an ally in the process of this therapy.
To find out how to heighten your sense of pleasure and attention while eating, take a peek at this article (in French) « Les 7 sortes de faim ».
If you would like to discover a few guidelines regarding body dissatisfaction and how to work around it (also in French), I invite you to take a look here.
Want to know more ?
Go to my intuitive eating Facebook Page.