January 24, 2022
A BONUS EPISODE for you!
Recently, I spoke with Calum Stronach on the #NotAllMen??? Podcast. We delve into the topic of men and eating disorders - getting help, typical symptoms and barriers for getting the support you need.
We explore dieting, forbidden foods, over-exercise, fitness and identifying disordered eating symptoms. We also talk about managing emotions helpfully, when you naturally lean towards a pragmatic and solution focused approach. We think about creating an environment that supports change with eating difficulties and utilising our relationships, rather than isolating and trying to figure it out alone. And lots more! I hope that you enjoy the conversation.
Link to the #NotAllMen podcast https://open.spotify.com/show/08wQGgbJWtkomCY8hcg65e
Follow Calum on Instagram: @calumstronach
January 22, 2022
Today I’m talking to Ilene Smith, a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) whose work is rooted in the principles of attachment theory and eastern philosophies. Ilene integrates several modalities into her practice, including talking, touch-work, and movement, to help clients develop deeper and safer relationships within, and increased capacities for resilience and joy.
Ilene is the author of ‘Moving Beyond Trauma: The Roadmap to Healing from Your Past and Living with Ease and Vitality’, (Lioncrest, 2020), an Amazon Bestseller that shows readers how to bring the body into the trauma healing process. Her writing on psychology and wellness has appeared in Mind, Body, Green, Spirituality and Health, PsychCentral, Project HEAL, and Brooke Burke’s ModernMom. She holds master’s degrees in Mental Health Counselling and Exercise Physiology, is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) through the GROW Training Institute, and completed the three-year training program with the Somatic Experiencing Institute founded by Peter Levine.
In addition to her private practice, Ilene offers workshops on trauma-healing and conducts research on Somatic Experiencing for eating disorder treatment. She makes her home in Arizona and loves to travel, collect art, cycle, and practice yoga in her spare time.
In this episode, we explore how Ilene came to work in eating disorders and her personal journey into trauma focused work. Ilene explains about treating eating disorders from the ‘bottom up’, working on the deeper issues rather than symptoms only, this being a part in recovery that is often overlooked. She talks about how eating disorders give short-term relief from emotional pain, but these maladaptive coping strategies lead to a vicious cycle of shame and disappointment, which is challenging to escape from. She introduces skills and practices to begin to heal trauma and to restore the nervous system again, for sustainable eating disorder recovery.
I hope that you enjoy the conversation.
To find out more about Ilene:-
January 15, 2022
Today I’m talking to Dr Courtney Raspin, who is a Chartered Psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. Courtney is working to raise awareness of eating disorders, the significant effects the pandemic has had on sufferers, and how ‘good’ therapy can enable people to understand and manage their symptoms, as well as start living fuller, happier and more meaningful lives.
Courtney was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. The daughter of influential media psychologist, Dr Toni Grant, and a physician, she grew up with a keen interest in both mental and physical health. Courtney moved to London in 2000 and worked for 10 years in the NHS before launching her private clinic, Altum Health in 2010.
Altum Health is London’s premier private psychology practice specialising in the treatment of eating disorders and body image difficulties. To date, it has treated over 500 patients. Following a significantly high increase in enquiries during the UK’s lockdown, Courtney is now actively engaged in raising awareness of how increased stress is affecting young people during the pandemic. She is also exploring how this is stimulating a resurgence of mental health issues, including eating disorders – what causes them, what keeps them going and the therapies that can help.
Alongside her work at Altum Health, Courtney is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and regularly lectures in the Counselling Psychology Doctoral Programme at City University. A member of the Eating Disorders Association (b-eat), she has appeared in documentaries and contributed to numerous articles on not only eating disorders and body image, but mental health in general.
Courtney is a full-time working mum with two children, has been married for over 20 years and also plays mum to the family’s cockapoo – Luna, who is hoping to become a fully trained therapy dog in residence at Altum Health.
In this episode, we explore Courtney’s history and how she came to work in eating disorders. We talk about the work of Altum Health and how they approach treatment for eating disorders, so providing good therapy that is effective for each individual.
We also talk the impact of the pandemic on young people’s mental health and the surge in eating disorder referrals and how we can protect young people with their wellbeing going forward. I hope that you enjoy the conversation.
To find out more:
January 8, 2022
Recently I've been reading James Clear's book - Atomic Habits. He teaches you how to make long lasting and sustainable change through making tiny steps. And when he explores behaviour change, he highlights that our IDENTITY is often the part that gets in the way. We hold on to deep beliefs about ourselves that can sabotage change and make it short lived.
In this episode, I explore how to make changes in eating disorder recovery, aiming to target the roots of change. I hope that you enjoy the episode.
If you're interested in joining my 10 Steps to Intuitive Eating Course, please go to my bio on Instagram @the_eating_disorder_therapist or my website www.theeatingdisordertherapist.co.uk
January 2, 2022
We have an epidemic of loneliness in the UK. It is certainly one of the most talked about issues in counselling, and a trigger for many unhelpful escape strategies like overeating, drinking, compulsive shopping and internet use.
In some ways, we have never felt so connected, constantly glued to our iPhones and other electronic devices, but the time for meaningful connections has diminished with our ever busier lives. Loneliness can be hard to bear, especially when you feel maybe that you shouldn’t feel lonely – you may be surrounded by people, but don’t feel connected at all.
We know that people live longer when they have meaningful relationships, these being incredibly important for our mental wellbeing. If we look at centenarians – they’re not spiralising their courgettes or weighing their food, they are invested in their relationships.
We put time and effort into health, exercise, work and family. It is worth investing in our friendships too. It can be a vital component of eating disorder recovery.
In this episode, I share 6 tips for feeling more connected and building friendship.
As we move into the New Year, make a resolution to invest and build your friendships.
Healthy relationships are SO valuable for good mental wellbeing.
Healthy relationships will absolutely support you in your eating disorder recovery.
December 26, 2021
Eating disorder recovery goals can be created at any point, but New Year can be as good a time as any. Especially when the world around you might be luring you down the diet culture route of starting a new plan or joining the gym or detoxing. Instead, it can be the time to step aside from all of this and to get strongly rooted in your own recovery lane.
Because, you don’t want to be procrastinating recovery or putting it off till 'some day'. Life is short and for living.
Eating disorders can rob weeks, months and ultimately years of your life. You can’t get back your teenage finding-your-identity phase with fun and experimentation, or your twenties where you’re growing up and finding yourself, and hopefully travelling and meeting people and growing as a person. Or at any stage, eating disorders take away.
Having an eating disorder massively impacts the quality of your relationships and career, and ultimately your potential. Having an eating disorder is like having a millstone around your neck which you’re dragging with you. It takes much more than it gives back.
So how to even begin to embrace recovery goals?
I talk about 5 different tips for managing ed goals including:
Number 1 – extraordinary focus and dedication.
Number 2 – getting clear on your life goals and values.
Number 3 – surrounding yourself with the encouragers and uplifters.
Number 4 – it’s a grieving process and that’s okay.
Number 5 – the baby steps add up to a very big deal.
I hope that you enjoy the episode.
December 18, 2021
Today I’m talking to Hannah Howard, from New Jersey, where she lives with her husband, daughter, new baby son and very cute puppy. Hannah is a writer and food expert who spent her formative years in New York eating, drinking, serving, bartending, cooking on a line, flipping giant wheels of cheese, and managing restaurants. She loves to write about delicious things, teach food writing classes, and might just spend all day at a market shopping for fruits and veggies. Her memoir, Feast: True Love in and Out of the Kitchen, debuted as Amazon's number one bestselling memoir in 2018. Her new book Plenty: A Memoir of Food and Family, is recently out and available to buy. Hannah’s relationship with food has been profoundly complicated. On the one hand having a love and passion for it, as a real foodie, on the other hand, struggling with an eating disorder. Hannah’s book PLENTY is where Hannah shares her personal reckoning with loss and self-love as she struggles with the ghost of an eating disorder. Her journey is both geographical and psychological as she travels the globe –from New York to Oslo to Italy to name a few of the destinations travelled. Through a web of vignettes, Hannah reflects on her friendships with a diverse cast of women, these being strong female mentors, who have taken on meaningful, creative work with purpose and potential in the male-dominated food industry. Using drippy, delicious imagery, she describes enviable meals and expeditions, finding love and community, and how food has connected her to family and friends. Alongside this, weaving in her own personal journey, in ongoing eating disorder recovery, learning to trust and accept her body and dealing with a devastating pregnancy loss along the way. Hannah’s work has been featured in New York Magazine, VICE, SELF, Thrillist, Serious Eats, Bust, refinery29, Salon, and many others. In this episode, you’ll hear about Hannah’s recovery story, her experiences as a passionate foodie, writing books and in dealing with life’s loves and losses. I hope that you enjoy the episode. To find out more about Hannah: Instagram: @hannhmhoward Website: https://www.hannahhoward.nyc/
December 11, 2021
Today I’m speaking to Marcus Kain who is a Nutrition Coach and Trainer with 15 years industry experience. He specialises in working with people to break cycles of disordered eating and burnout. Marcus has a history of suffering with eating disorders, disordered eating and over-exercise himself. However, he has healed his relationship with food and now supports others to do the same. From his experience balancing life as a fitness professional and touring performer, Marcus understands the impact high stress and pressure can have on the body and mind. Using strategies that focus on balancing the nervous system and providing safe ways to be with and recharge the body, Marcus provides a platform for people to gain a fulfilling relationship with food and exercise through his coaching, social media and The M.Kain Coaching Podcast.
In this episode, Marcus shares his story, explaining the treatment approaches that worked and ones that didn’t. He shares the isolation of struggling with disordered eating within the fitness industry and being male; his thoughts on performance enhancing drugs and how he drew on anxiety management techniques from his previous life as a touring performer, which became life changing in his relationship with food. I hope that you enjoy the episode.
To find out more about Marcus:
Instagram: @mkaincoaching Podcast – search for The M. Kain Coaching Podcast on all major platforms.
December 5, 2021
So how do you treat eating disorders? Eating disorders are complex mental health conditions and sadly there is no wonder cure that can fix them. What works effectively for one person may be very different for another.
In this episode, I talk to you about some of the ways that I work with my clients. I describe myself as an integrative counsellor, meaning that I am not wedded to any one approach rather using different therapies, which I have found to be particularly helpful for treating eating disorders (Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Compassion Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, MANTRA and Cognitive Analytic Therapy). I firmly believe in the therapeutic relationship being the corner-stone for healing. I also believe in being flexible and tailoring work to suit a client’s personal journey. Sometimes, this may involve a talking therapy with more insight and self-reflection, whilst at other times it may mean utilising tools and practical strategies, or a combination of the two.
The different areas I focus on in therapy (not limited to) in this episode: -
- Working on motivation for change, as people often feel ambivalent.
- Understanding why you may have developed an eating disorder.
- Getting clear on values and diluting the link between self-worth and weight.
- Developing a healthier relationship with food with regular eating and a range of foods.
- Becoming more food neutral
- Dealing with emotions and developing healthy coping mechanisms.
- Developing awareness and insight into your thoughts and thinking patterns.
- Developing self-compassion and a healthy body image
- Boosting self-esteem and self-worth.
- Managing inevitable relapses.
Remember, it is possible to change and to recover from an eating disorder. The road will not always be smooth and there will be many inevitable bumps on this journey. However, it is worth taking the courageous step to reach out and get help. It’s also worth trying different avenues alongside including in engaging in self-help, reading recovery blogs and helpful social media, and taking a holistic approach. Recovery is possible. Hold onto hope.
November 29, 2021
As a therapist, I love supporting clients to explore their story and to make sense of their eating disorder. It's not always an easy job, as eating disorders are complicated and there is no one cause. It can feel as if they are all about food, however, they are a complex interplay of genetics, environment, family life, stressors and triggers. In supporting a client with change, it can be a valuable process to piece together the different parts of the jigsaw to begin to make sense of all the different parts. Through this process, someone can begin to understand why they have developed an eating disorder; possible triggers and the perpetuating factors that keep them stuck in destructive cycles.
In this episode, I talk about three ways that eating disorders help people cope (albeit short-term). Of course, longer term, they bring about many more problems. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, I hope this will help you question and explore your own psychology to begin to make better sense of what's going on. If you're a carer, it will offer you an insight into why your loved one may be doing what they're doing, which can provide a starting point for better understanding and compassion.
I hope that you enjoy the episode.