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...
ED-IT the “Movies in your Mind”

ED-IT the “Movies in your Mind”

Create a “movie in your mind” of the recovery success you truly desire. Whether you are aware of it or not, you create an image in your mind of anything you do before you do it. Imagine this sceario.  It’s morning, and you start thinking about what you could have for breakfast.  You’re aware of two different choices you could make, as you “see” two different “movies in your mind”… Intuitive Therapist (IT) movie:  You see yourself having a bowl of cereal with strawberries and milk. Eating Disorder (ED) movie:  You see yourself binge eating on the entire box of cereal. Which of these two mental movies would you prefer to be your actual reality?  Be aware of the “movies in your mind,” and pause to create a mental picture of success.  If you become aware of a desire to binge, purge, or engage in any eating disorder behavior, pause to notice the image you have in your mind.  Next, create a new image which offers a healthy alternative.  ED-IT the “movie in your mind.” See this healthy image as clearly as you can, and see yourself acting on your healthy choice.  See your success and it is yours! Share this page with your...