Metaphors Of Eating Disorders: Eating In The Light Of The Moon

Metaphors Of Eating Disorders: Eating In The Light Of The Moon

Eating in the Light of the Moon, by Dr. Anita Johnston, is a book that speaks to one’s relationship with food, particularly naming what may feel true about food, eating, and weight for those who identify as women. Dr. Johnston offers wisdom here that may apply to those who experience disordered eating, as well as to anyone who has wondered about the concepts of true nourishment or food as a metaphor. During a recent lecture for a group of professionals in the eating disorders field, Dr. Johnston named that so often, one may try to push away an eating disorder, to get rid of it, and to eradicate disordered eating patterns from one’s life as fast as possible. However, Dr. Johnston points out that the disordered eating itself is not actually the problem, nor is getting rid of the disordered eating going to illuminate why these eating patterns arose in the first place. Rather, disordered eating is actually pointing to a much deeper relationship with food, with getting what one wants in the world, and with feeling deeply nourished and satisfied. Dr. Johnston advocates that disordered eating instructs us to metaphorically “dig here” at the roots of the disordered eating to uncover what may be buried beneath the symptoms that initially present themselves. In Eating in the Light of the Moon, Dr. Johnston takes the approach that disordered eating and frustrating relationships with food may be metaphors for needs not being met in life. She challenges readers to question what an insatiable hunger may really indicate – whether this is actually a hunger for food or whether it may...
Somatic Counseling and Eating Disorders

Somatic Counseling and Eating Disorders

Body Psychotherapy in Eating Disorder Recovery What is Somatic Counseling? Translated literally, “soma” means body. Somatic counseling is a form of psychotherapy that views the body as an integral part of the counseling process. Body psychotherapy is considered to be one branch under the larger umbrella of somatic counseling. Somatic counseling is derived from a rich lineage of psychologists, clinicians, bodywork practitioners, psychologists, dancers, and philosophers. The theories and perspectives of psychoanalysis, existential, humanistic, and gestalt psychology, expressive arts, neuroscience, and Eastern philosophy and spirituality all contribute to the practice of somatic counseling today. The founders of somatic counseling observed that the body often holds key wisdom that can be invaluable in understanding the psyche and in facilitating personal growth and transformation. On both subtle and overt levels, the body has witnessed and experienced all that has happened in each person’s life and holds its own memories and insights about these experiences. Accessing and honoring this information from the body in psychotherapy provides a wealth of knowledge that may not be part of more traditional “talk therapy” sessions. The information held within the body may also not readily be available to conscious awareness, though it may be influencing a person through illness, overwhelming emotions, or a sense of “stuckness.” Allowing the body to have a voice in somatic counseling through using specific techniques allows this information to enter cognitive awareness and provides an opportunity to process and work with it in a deep and profound way. Somatic counseling encourages a true integration of body, mind, and spirit in therapy. (Source: United States Association for Body Psychotherapy) What are the...