Emotional/Binge/Mindful Eating, Addiction, ADHD, Self Harm, Self-Esteem, Family Conflict/Parenting Support & Separation, Anxiety & Depression.
$180 per hour.
Payment via credit card
Most of us go about the business of living our lives in a state of autopilot, thinking the same thoughts and doing the same things over and over without noticing that some habitual thoughts/behaviours are getting us in trouble and/or causing suffering. I see my role as a therapist as someone who can act as a curious outsider and help you become aware of these thoughts/behaviours, determine what is working and what is not, provide you with information, teach you skills and engage in a problem solving process to assist you in creating the life you want for yourself and/or your child. I believe your situation can improve and am genuinely passionate about the work we will do together.
There is very little that I have not seen before however I specialize in working with eating issues, addiction, depression, anxiety, ADHD, self-esteem, family conflict, self-harm, emotional regulation, family separation and parenting. I have training in a variety of therapeutic approaches and will create a unique plan to meet your specific needs and goals.
I’d love to be part of your journey and if you feel that I could be a fit please reach out!
Please note I offer a support group for those struggling with food issues. Please see my information links for more info.
"What you pay attention to grows. Pay attention to your loveliness, your magnificent self. Begin now." ― Geneen Roth
If you were in a relationship with someone who deprived you of the things you loved, who was controlling, made you feel bad about yourself, was restrictive and frankly cruel wouldn’t you kick that boyfriend/girlfriend to the curb. Yes you would!!! And, your friends and family would be cheering you on as you did it. But, somehow, the diet industry, who is essentially that jerk boyfriend, has us convinced that they are a good thing and we pay lots of money to be abused and fooled by them. Here are the facts about diets: they are rigid, they teach you that you don’t know what’s best for your body, they are controlling, they force you to eat foods you don’t love, they hurt your metabolism, they damage your spirit, they drain your energy, they hurt your relationship with food, to name a few things. All of this and they DON’T EVEN WORK! Research shows that over 85% of people regain any weight they loss from dieting and dieting is actually the biggest predictor of being overweight. In other countries, such as France, they eat richer foods, diet less and take joy and pleasure from the eating experience and the levels of obesity and eating disorders are far lower than in North America. Why is that? I believe that it is because the dieting mentality is actually harmful to your psychological, spiritual and physical wellbeing. Think I’m being a tad bit dramatic, well, read on, here is some of my evidence.
Diets tend to invite us to label foods as either “good” or bad.” This brings morality into the picture and with morality comes guilt and shame. We are actually built to enjoy and crave foods, it is essential to our survival as a species. Now, we feel that we are a bad person for wanting or eating something tasty, rich and sweet. This takes the pleasure out of the eating experience and causes us to label ourselves as unmotivated, lacking willpower, undisciplined or even a failure. All this from one little cookie. This excessive guilt and shame makes us feel awful or hopeless and then we tend to wonder ‘why bother’ and eat all the foods we have deprived ourselves. As you can see, this creates a very destructive cycle. Wouldn’t it be better just to eat the cookie and let yourself enjoy it and find pleasure in it? Not to mention, as humans we are psychologically drawn to and preoccupied by the things we can’t have. It’s plain old human nature.
There was a study conducted in 1944 called the Minnesota Starvation Experiment that put healthy men (mentally and physically) of average size on a restricted diet. Semi-starvation was shown to produce significant increases in depression, anxiety and preoccupation with food in these men. The study also showed a significant increases in urges to overeat and a distorted self-image among the participants. Doesn’t that sound like how it feels to be on a diet? These are natural things that occur when we restrict calories but yet we blame ourselves for them. Geneen Roth writes, “for every diet there is a equal and opposite binge.” Doesn’t that sound like a recipe for disaster?
The diet industry has pushed low fat, low calorie products on us. To improve the taste (because, let’s face it, they taste like cardboard), they add sugar to these products. Healthy fat is a good thing, and it helps us to feel full and satisfied for longer. Sugar, on the other hand, creates a quick spurt of energy and then leaves us tired and hungry soon after. Most of these low calorie/low fat foods are unsatisfying and we are generally less satisfied with the eating experience (and hungry soon after). So, what do we do??? We tend to keep eating, of course. I have talked to so many people and heard so many stories of people eating quadruple (or more) the calories of “diet foods” foods in an attempt to feel satisfied and then just end up eating the regular food item in the end anyway. Research shows that we are more likely to not overeat if we allow ourselves to feel pleasure and satisfaction from our food.
Most importantly, diets give us the message that we can’t be trusted by telling us very specifically what we can and cannot eat. The fact is the our body is equipped with what we need to keep us healthy and regulate our intake of food, if we can actually tune in and listen to it. The metabolism is primed when the body is hungry and we tend to crave the food that the body needs. Also, if we listen, the body tells us when to stop eating and when we have had enough. After a while of being tuned into our bodies, we can feel the negative effects of overeating and eating too many unhealthy foods. Eating to make your body thrive is a far more effective motivator compared to eating a certain way because a diet is imposing strict rules on you. Eating something that honors our body and is respectful to ourselves provides far more motivation than eating/not eating because it is something we “should do.”
Now is a good time to reflect on the past and to make a new start and that means ending destructive relationships and replacing those with healthier more fulfilling ones. Isn’t it time to tell dieting that we are never getting back together. If you are interested in finding more information about how to tune into your inner wisdom and build a healthier relationship with food, contact Deanne. I am now offering an exciting 12 week therapy Program called Repairing your Relationship with Food (please see my informational link on this program).
I have a passion and a unique approach to helping people of all ages to develop a healthy relationship with food and with their bodies. Food is something that we need in order to survive. It can be something wonderful and life giving or it can be something very difficult, confusing and painful. Given that we need food, it is unlike other mood altering substances in that we need to figure out how to have a relationship with it on a daily basis. I run a group on Saturday mornings called “Repairing youR Relationship with Food” which is created for people who feel obsessive about food, who are struggling with binging and emotional eating and/or who generally feel that their relationship with food is not healthy as it can be. I also provide individual session to people who would prefer to work on specific food issues and would like to go more in depth.
As a therapist I often have conversations with people about self care. I have come to realize that there is a lot of confusion about a term that everyone is talking about. It is a topic thrown around in the staff lunchroom, in the elevator, at the gym, on Facebook etc. etc. It is a concept that I often find myself discussing with my own friends and family. I think the reason that the term “self care” has gone viral, so to speak, is because stress is a constant part of our modern lives. Managing a career, a family, finances, aging parents, a marriage has most of us all tapped out. Not to mention the pressures we put on ourselves in this Pinterest Era, where someone is always more crafty, more organized, a better decorator and/or is whipping up cupcakes in their spare time.
When we are asked to engage in self care, most of us think of the big ticket items, like getting a pedicure, having a bath (with homemade scented candles and Enya music, of course), getting a massage, reading a novel or taking a hike. And YES, these are all great self care. These are nice things to do for yourself, I’m not disputing that. However, there is a overlooked side of self care that requires taking care of you own needs each and every day. This sometimes means making a overhaul of your life and creating a list of the things that you need on a daily/weekly basis to keep you running on all cylinders, things that will help reduce your overall stress level so you can manage the inevitable ups and downs life throws at you. Practicing self care each day and making yourself one of the priorities in your own life can prevent you from running to a bottle of wine or a pint of ice cream at the end of a particularly hard day.
So what are these magical things that help us to function better?? Well, they are not rocket science, overly complicated or actually magic at all, but, are about doing the simple things that keep us functioning optimally both physically and mentally. These include getting 8 hours of sleep, exercising at least three days a week, getting medical help when needed, eating healthy nourishing meals sitting down (not in the car or running to the next event), connecting with people who give us joy and who energize, laughing, taking breaks, not taking on too much at work, stretching, taking a moment to breath, building some small pleasures into each day, noticing something beautiful or inspiring, being grateful for something, among other things.
In our modern, busy and hectic lives, creating boundaries that protect our wellbeing seem impossible to many of us. That is unless we make the care of ourselves a priority and are intentional about it, as we often are when it comes to the needs of our family. This is the difficult part, letting other things go so we can make ourselves a priority sometimes. No, I’m not saying to neglect your kids but maybe it’s time to evaluate the way that you spend your time and ask yourself some hard questions. Are you doing things that give you joy or are you filling your day with "shoulds?" Are you talking the time to fill your tank and making your wellbeing a priority? Are you allowing yourself to stop to smell the flowers, so to speak, and enjoying the precious moments that life has to offer that are missed when we rush on past it to the next thing?
I encourage you to reflect on if you are a priority in your own life and if are you making time for yourself. If not, why not? What is getting in the way? Is it beliefs about yourself and your role or perhaps is feeling like others in your life are dependent on you? Does it feel selfish to care about yourself? What did you learn about self care growing up? And, what can you do to change that pattern? Do you struggle to ask for help or to say no? If you need help with answering these questions or implementing the changes in your life, you are not alone, many of us struggle with this. If you think that this is an area that needs some exploration, feel free to contact me and set up an appointment.