How to Relate To Food and Weight Now and Let the Shame Go
When COVID-19 hit and many of us began stocking up on food and sheltering in place, I grew deeply concerned for my clients. How were they going to handle the endless hours of isolation, or conversely, the stress of too many people at home at once? As a therapist who specializes in eating issues, here's the approach I use to help them.
There's More to Overeating Than Just Emotions, Says Judith Matz
By Judith Matz - Clients struggling with compulsive eating often seek therapy because they feel overeating may have an emotional component. But the idea that people overeat to soothe or avoid painful emotions is only part of the story.
A Paradigm Shift Around Weight is Occurring in Our Field
By Judith Matz - Societal norms regarding weight, health, and eating affect every client we work with, regardless of body size. Here's how you can support people of all sizes when it comes to respecting and taking care of their bodies without inadvertently causing harm.
…And 3 Ways to Talk about Them with Your Clients
By Judith Matz - There’s been a lot of outcry from mental health professionals, doctors, parents, and people who’ve suffered from eating disorders about the trailer for the new Netflix series, Insatiable, which portrays higher-weight people in a poor light. Here are three alarming myths the series perpetuates, and the lessons we can learn from them.
Four Steps to Transform Your Internalized Views About Body Size
By Judith Matz - I’ve come to believe that the way we as therapists feel about our clients’ body size is not only a clinical concern, but a social justice issue. It’s not easy to challenge internal attitudes that are reinforced every day in the general culture, but if you’re willing to go against the cultural current, here are some things you can do to help you assess—and transform—your internalized views about weight and dieting.
Judith Matz on Abandoning Weight Loss as a Marker for Success
Most therapists have been taught that if we can help clients understand the emotional triggers of their overeating, they’ll be able to control their behavior and lose weight. We tend to build strategies around nutrition, portion control, and exercise habits. But more often than not, the pursuit of weight loss typically triggers and sustains overeating. My focus with clients who have overeating and weight concerns is to help them learn how to have a healthy relationship with food. We therapists need to recognize that when we reinforce the notion of weight loss as a marker of success, we set our clients up to leave therapy with even more shame about one more failure.
How to Transform Assumptions about Overweight Clients
I’m comfortable working with clients on all types of issues, but I notice that when I meet with clients whom I consider fat, I feel a sense of disapproval toward them. How can I change my attitude?