Many of us have a complicated relationship with food. Most of us have at some point been on a form of diet and for many more of us, the relationship we have with our bodies is a constant struggle between dissatisfaction, ignoring it, and paying a lot of (self-conscious and/or self-critical) attention to it. What might patterns of overeating or restrictive diets be reflecting about our emotional health?
When I meet clients for the first time, I always tell them a little bit about what to expect from me and how I work with them as a therapist. One of the things I talk about is how the therapeutic process will sometimes shift back and forth between the here and now and what has happened for them in the past.
We mostly think of addictions in terms of alcohol or drugs but addictions or compulsive behaviours come in many forms. Even ordinary behaviours and ways of thinking can be addictive if done obsessively or compulsively. Think of overeating, overworking, and constantly worrying that the worst will happen.
Even though our attachment style can be traced back to our earliest relationships, it isn’t set in stone and it isn’t the case that it cannot be changed. The extent to which we are able to become securely attached later in life is fortunately determined less by our early relationships and more by a combination of how aware we are of ourselves and strengthening the skills for healthy, secure attachments.