The Emotional Eating Part

Emotional eating is a complex issue. When you have told someone about your struggle with weight and eating, how often has the response been, “well, just don’t eat so much”? Gee. I guess you hadn’t considered that option, right?! If only it were that easy! I have worked with emotional eating for a long time now. I know it is complex, but I started using techniques from a therapy called Internal Family Systems therapy and realized it is much more complex than I thought. IFS (Internal Family Systems) is a brilliant therapy that allows us to get in touch with the function of our behavior and identify pain that we are using the behaviors to avoid or protect ourselves from experiencing. I have found this to be an amazing adjunct in therapy sessions. While I have used EMDR therapy successfully for several years to help heal trauma and the connections pain has created with food, IFS helps bring EMDR sessions to a whole new level of self exploration and healing. By addressing the behaviors, we can develop a sense of compassion for why we do what we do, come from a place of curiosity instead of shame and promote growth instead of berating ourselves for the struggle. Emotional eating seems simple on the surface, but we become emotionally and physiologically connected to the payoffs we receive. The parts at play in emotional eating are invested in our survival and avoidance of pain, so it makes sense that changing the behavior is difficult. Once we are able to view this from a different vantage point, the path to recovery is not only more clear, it feels more attainable. If you continue to struggle with emotional eating despite many attempts to change, contact me today for more information on how the combination of EMDR therapy and Internal Family Systems might work for you.


Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Weber State University and a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. She has been working in the mental health field since 2001.

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