New IFS Demonstration Sessions on Eating Issues

I am excited to add 4 new eating demonstrations on eating issues to the store this week. Click on any title to learn more about it or purchase it.

 

Working with Exiles DemonstrationWorking with Eating Exiles

This is a particularly touching piece of work. The client has maintained normal weight throughout her life, though she constantly struggles with food and eating. She finds that she has an Inner Controller stemming from for a teenager who experienced ridicule about her body, and a protector with a trunk of memories from early childhood. The two most prominent memories were of a baby who got too much milk and not enough love from a rushed mother; and a little girl who stuffed her face to escape from family dinner table arguments. As we work with these two exiles she is amazed at the clarity she is able to achieve and the depth of understanding and compassion that emerges.

 

The Hijacker Indulger DemonstrationThe Hijacker Indulger

This client has been a yo-yo dieter for years, and now in midlife finds that she cannot lose the weight as easily as in the past. We work on the polarity between a controlling part and an unconscious out-of-control indulger. The exile that we find goes back to a broken relationship in her mid-20s. Its protector never wants to be intimate and vulnerable to that depth of hurt again.

 

Getting to know a food controller demonstrationGetting to Know a Food Controller

This university professor client has explored IFS intellectually, and was eager to experience it. She begins by exploring three parts of the cluster: the Food Controller, the Indulger, and the Inner Defender. As we get to know the Food Controller in the form of a Head Mistress, it spontaneously begins to soften and change. We are able to get a glimpse of the exile that she is protecting, but the client is not ready for work with her at this time. The Head Mistress wants to maintain her role, but in a softer way. The system nicely re-organizes itself and comes to a new, more peaceful status quo. This session is an excellent introduction to the IFS process.

 

B26-Working-with-a-Foggy-Part-NEWA Foggy Part that Protects Shame

This is an interesting demo with a client who has a lot of eating disorder treatment experience. She is still struggling with a dissociative foggy part. The turning point in the work is my helping her to take a stand with a Shaming Part that arises as the exiles are telling their stores. She arrives at an important clarification about the difference between facing internal struggles and feeling incapacitated. As she feels stronger and clearer, she is able to stand up for her exiles for the first time, and her credibility in the system is solidified. We see the dramatic changes that occur when she is present with courage and vitality in her internal system.

 

Eating Behaviors: Two Parts That Fight the Food Controller

The Food Controller is an inner critic part that tries to regulate your eating behaviors and other health-related behaviors. It believes that without its efforts, you would be out of control and ruin your life.

It can be hard, cruel, and demeaning—often resulting in depression and low self-esteem. It can lead to…

  • Being obsessed with what you eat or don’t eat
  • Constant worrying about your weight and your body image
  • Feeling bad about your eating habits
  • Going on fad diets
  • Making behavioral resolutions
  • Feeling shame about lapses in meeting your eating goals.

When we have an Inner Critic part operating to make us feel bad about ourselves, it is natural to also develop parts that try to fight off its impact. Generally these parts are not coming from a grounded place of self-care and nurturing (the IFS Self). They are usually more immature–mimicking a child or adolescent’s reactions to a controlling parent. They function as protectors; trying to keep wounded inner child parts (exiles) from being reinjured.

Clients have often found it helpful for me to identify these parts so they can channel their energy in a positive, self-supportive ways to promote healing.

The RebelThe Rebel is the part that behaves in direct opposition to the Food Controller. Naming it always helps people clarify previously mysterious eating behavior. The Rebel bristles at the commands of the critic and refuses to be bullied or bossed around (overtly or covertly). Because of its knee jerk reaction to being controlled, its actions may not be in our best interest. In trying to deflect the impact of the critic, it often behaves in direct opposition to the Controller’s demands. It fights the rigid controls with an attitude of, “Oh yeah, you can’t tell me what to do.” or “Oh, you say I can’t eat that cookie, watch me eat the whole box!”

Inner-DefenderThe Inner Defender reacts to the criticism of the food controller by coming to your defense. It can’t tolerate the injustice of the criticism and tries to plead your case. It enumerates all the good things that you have done and how hard you’re trying. The Defender wants you to get credit for your efforts and be appreciated for what you are trying to do.

Sometimes your Inner Defender tries to argue with the Food Controller. If the Food Controller says that you are worthless, the Defender tries to prove that you are a good person. If the Critic says you are fat and lazy, it will give evidence of how you were able to stay on a diet yesterday. The Defender may the critic to “Leave me alone,” but it often doesn’t feel powerful.

Eating Issues Story

by: Bonnie Weiss, LCSW, and Jay Earley, PhD

This is the story of one person with eating issues.

Slim and athletic as a child, Arlene gradually put on weight in her teens and it steadily increased as she had children and then became a single mom. When she was eating, she couldn’t really tell when she was full. She kept feeling like she was actually hungry for more, but then after she ate more, she felt stuffed. In addition, she frequently binged on certain comfort foods, and she had a hard time stopping when she was eating. This is her Indulger Pattern.

Anything she tried–diets, programs, starvation, cleanses–were only stopgap measures. Anything lost was gained back and then some. She felt horrible about herself!

She always heard a nagging voice inside, her Food Controller Critic. It said, “You are so fat and lazy, and oh so terribly inadequate. No one will ever love you, and that’s because you don’t deserve to be loved.”

When she began a counseling program, her fellow students and supervisors were always pointing out to her that she tried so hard to be “the good girl.” But this was to no avail. She could never feel good enough. “I never just felt like it was alright to be me.”

Arlene was always hearing the voice of her Food Controller berating her for being fat, for failing to lose weight. Whenever she went on a binge it was especially cruel and shaming. And its judgments went beyond her eating habits. It told her that she was worthless and unlovable.

Upcoming Teleseminar

Introductory Teleseminar: Beyond Eating: Dealing with Food Addiction
Bonnie Weiss, LCSW
Monday, October 6
4:30-6:30 PM Pacific (7:30-9:30 PM Eastern)
Click here to register
FREE

This will be followed by a six-week phone course.

Visit  Self-Therapy Journey  and find out how it can help you with eating issues.

 

Eating Issues Email Sequence

Women overcoming eating issuesI have created an email sequence on understanding the psychology behind eating issues and working it through so you can change your eating. If you choose to sign up for this sequence, you will receive an email every few days describing a step in change process for eating issues, illustrated by the story of how one person went through all the steps and changed her eating.

Click here if you would like to receive these emails. (If you are getting the Psychological Change Email Sequence, you will be taken off that list, since the sequences cover much of the same material.)

 

Do You Understand Why You Overeat?

Understand your emotional eatingUnderstand Why You Overeat

  • Do you overeat to soothe yourself when you are upset?
  • Have you tried to diet but always gain it back?
  • Do you feel like food is the only love you get?
  • Do you sit down to have a couple of cookies and then finish the whole box?
  • Do you obsess about food way too much?
  • Do you feel ashamed of yourself after going on a binge?

Explore the Underlying Psychology of Your Emotional Eating and How to Change It

This probably means that you are overeating for psychological reasons. The Overeating Psychology Quiz will help you to understand what they are, so you can work through these issues and change your eating patterns.

Your overeating may be driven by fears, defenses, and inner conflicts that you are only partially aware of, which are your psychological motivations for overeating. This quiz will help you to understand these motivations and what to do about them.

Using Self-Therapy Journey to Stop Overeating – Special Amazon Offer

  • Using Self-Therapy Journey to Stop OvereatingDo you overeat to soothe yourself when you are upset?
  • When you diet, do you always gain back the weight?
  • Is food the only love you get?
  • When you intend to eat just a couple cookies, do you finish the whole box?
  • Is most of your day spent obsessing about food?
  • Do you feel ashamed of yourself after going on a binge?

This is most likely because of emotional eating. There is good news! You can transform this pattern and develop healthy eating habits.

Self-Therapy Journey is an interactive online tool for psychological healing and transformation, which has a module for overeating.

With Self-Therapy Journey you can…

  • Stop eating when you are full.
  • Know the difference between your hunger and your other needs.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Lose weight — and keep it off!
  • Be relaxed about food.
  • Be slim, healthy, and attractive

Using Self-Therapy Journey to Stop Overeating shows how this online tool works and how to use it to change your eating—for good!

The Kindle version of Using Self-Therapy Journey to Stop Overeating is free on Amazon June 24-26.  http://www.amazon.com/Using-Self-Therapy-Journey-Stop-Overeating-ebook/dp/B00K5SW6PE/

A Story of the Indulger and Food Controller Patterns

Jay Earley, PhD, and Bonnie Weiss, LCSW

Slim and athletic as a child, Arlene gradually put on weight in her teens and it steadily increased as she had children and then became a single mom. When she was eating, she couldn’t really tell when she was full. She kept feeling like she was actually hungry for more, but then after she ate more, she felt stuffed. In addition, she frequently binged on certain comfort foods, and she had a hard time stopping when she was eating. This is her Indulger Pattern.

Anything she tried–diets, programs, starvation, cleanses–were only stopgap measures. Anything lost was gained back and then some. She felt horrible abfood controllerout herself!

She always heard a nagging voice inside, her Food Controller Critic. It said, “You are fat and lazy, and so terribly inadequate. No one will ever love you, and that’s because you don’t deserve to be loved.”

When she began a counseling program, her fellow students and supervisors were always pointing out to her that she tried so hard to be “the good girl.” But this was to no avail. She could never feel good enough. “I never just felt like it was alright to be me.”

Arlene was always hearing the voice of her Food Controller berating her for being fat, for failing to lose weight. Whenever she went on a binge it was especially cruel and shaming. And its judgments went beyond her eating habits. It told her that she was worthless and unlovable.

This didn’t help her to stop bingeing. In fact, it did the opposite. She felt a need to eat to comfort herself when she felt so bad. But this just triggered a binge, which was followed by more attacks from her Food Controller.

You can work on transforming both these patterns in Self-Therapy Journey.

The Foggy Part and Eating Issues

Bonnie Weiss, LCSW

There are a number of distinct parts that typically show up in clients with eating issues. They are most often tangled in a way that make them hard to distinguish and therefore work with.  Of course, not everyone has all of these parts, and we try not to rectify them by giving them specific names. However, naming their functions often unlocks deeper understanding. It allows movement on previously difficult emotional issues and shifts in historically stuck behaviors.The Foggy Part is the part that causes a lapse in conscious awareness of your relationship to yourself and what is going on at the moment or what has just happened. It manifests as dullness, confusion, blankness, emptiness, or an absent-minded feeling. Sometimes the Foggy Part can just muck up and confuse things so it feels like you have lost the thread of a conversation. At other times, it appears as complete dissociation, where actual time is lost and you experience having left the room or left your body.In my Beyond Eating classes, this is an especially important part for people to identify. It provides clarity about a number of very frustrating experiences. When you can name this part, appreciate its function, and develop a working relationship with it, the work opens and there is often significant movement.

How the Foggy Part Manifests

1. As your Indulger Part (the part that overeats) takes over, the Foggy Part may cause you to dissociate and loose consciousness of what you are eating, how much you have consumed, or when you have passed the “full” point. You may lose sensation in your body and fail to feel, for a while, the impact of eating large amounts of food.

2. As you work on yourself to explore your internal system, your Foggy Part may confuse things, cause you to loose track of what you are feeling or working on so you can’t productively follow the thread of your inquiry. This Foggy Part seems invested in keeping the system in place and not allowing any consciousness that would threaten change. You may suddenly feels lost, silly, embarrassed, or distracted. You can’t remember what you were talking about or why you were bothering to talk about it in the first place.

3. The Foggy Part defends against awareness of deep conflicts around self-care. If you have a strong People-Pleasing Part that focuses attention on others rather than yourself, you may give other people the nurturing they need while ignoring your own needs. Your Foggy Part may prevent you from being aware of yourself while around others, and you may get confused and muddled if asked what you want. Your Foggy Part may be protecting a Vulnerable Part whose needs were not met when you were a child. It expects that if those needs were brought out into the open today they would ignored again.

4. The Foggy Part creates a smoke screen that makes dealing with eating-related issues impossible. If you have a Helpless Part that believes that you can’t change, the fog may roll in and distract or confuse you to keep you from exploring this part. The Foggy Part seems to be holding your system in place. Change may be threatening while helplessness is known and safe. The Fog keeps you from exposing deeper needs, vulnerabilities, and trauma that it thinks are too dangerous.