Unlocking Emotional Eating with ART

I am always looking for new and better ways to help my clients resolve emotional eating. When I became trained in EMDR Therapy, I felt like I had found my home. I LOVE EMDR Therapy. I use it to resolve past trauma that created an unhealthy relationship with food and then, I use it to target the specific emotional payoffs that come from using food to cope (soothing, escape, relief, distraction, numbness, etc.). I freaking love EMDR! However, I have found something I might like even better!

I recently went through training in Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) and it is blowing my mind. It uses eye movements like EMDR, but seems to go deeper, faster, with less fallout. While EMDR is amazing, there is often a transition period in the beginning until the first trauma is completely processed and it can be painful.

ART works a little differently. Both EMDR and ART reprogram how the brain stores memories. Trauma memories often become stuck or frozen in our neural networks, both treatments allow that stuck information to be reprocessed by the brain which decreases any symptoms (problematic behaviors or responses) tied to the trauma and allows the person to feel some distance from the experience. EMDR focuses on negative beliefs tied to the trauma. ART, on the other hand, focuses on images and body sensations tied to the trauma. This eliminates any associated negative beliefs. However, you don’t get caught up on whether the belief itself is true (which often happens with EMDR). For example, in a case of sexual abuse, the belief might be that you were powerless. That was probably absolutely true, so it can be hard to move past the distress around that. With ART, we would install images to increase empowerment and confidence which would change that feeling of being powerless.

I’m so excited to be offering this therapy to my clients to help them heal more completely from trauma and, as a result, change their patterns of emotional eating more completely!

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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