There are a variety of disordered eating patterns that arise, most often in young women, which can be highly debilitating and even life threatening. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and different variations of these conditions can express themselves and establish themselves in a person's life to the point that management of the eating disorder itself assumes a primary focus in a person's day-to-day life. There are physical, cognitive, emotional, relational, and behavioral factors that reinforce the eating disorder. Familial and cultural factors can exert strong influences, as well. Perfectionistic and addictive patterns play a strong role in maintaining eating disorder patterns. However, there are other critical factors, such as the tendency to avoid sensations and thoughts (dissociation) that are often present. They can operate outside of awareness (i.e., unconscious influences) and make it challenging to learn healthy ways of nourishing and nurturing one's self.
At PIH, we believe that treating disordered eating patterns requires integration of a variety of treatment approaches and may also involve collaboration with formal in-patient eating disorder programs elsewhere in the community. Learning to focus beyond food can help clients identify the underlying patterns of thinking, feeling, sensing and functioning that maintain the disordered eating pattern. We will help you look at and heal your past, your present, and your future relationship with food and your self. Specific treatment approaches may include:
- Cognitive restructuring, somatic awareness and self-regulation training (Lois Fischer, MA, LMFT), (Harriet Kohen, MSW, LICSW)
- Hypnosis and guided imagery training (Harriet Kohen, MSW, LICSW), (Lois Fischer, MA, LMFT), (Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT)
- Chinese medicine incorporating acupuncture and herbal therapies (Diane Tanning, RN, MS, LAc)
- Resolution of relevant psychological triggers and historical predisposing events (Lois Fischer, MA, LMFT), (Harriet Kohen, MSW, LICSW), (David Alter, PhD, LP), (Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT)
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) (Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT), (Lois Fischer, MA, LMFT)
At PIH, we begin with a comprehensive evaluation to identify your particular needs and then work with you to design an individualized program of care that will support you in reestablishing health and increase your sense of vitality and well-being. We look forward to working with you on your way to balanced health.