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How will I know if he (she) really loves me?

More than a Whitney Houston classic, this is a question clients ask me about a parent, a romantic partner, a spouse, or a sibling. People from all walks of life have sought to define love. Some believe love is a verb, others a noun. I’ve heard love described as an emotion, a set of behaviors, […] Read More»

When am I old enough to get married?

Kristin is 22 years old. She’s been in a romantic relationship for the past two years and she and her partner are talking seriously about marriage.  During our session last week, Kristin said, “My godmother told me that nobody should get married before 30.  Do you think I’m old enough to get married?” When am […] Read More»

If it's just a game, why bother playing?

Kurt is angry. He tells me he and his wife had a heated argument last night, during which she told him he’s “wasting his life” trying to improve his ability to play “a made-up game.”* Is Kurt playing a made-up game? Yes!  Odds are, so are you. The game (profession, obsession, pastime, hobby) to which […] Read More»

Why should I be kind to myself?

Sally does not like her financial situation.  She scowls, frowns, or cries as she speaks about where she is now and how she finds herself here.  Although she is clearly working towards changing her situation, she is unfailingly miserable. Why is this? Sally refuses to be kind to herself. Sally once compared the road out […] Read More»

Why should I be happy if I haven’t reached my goal?

Sally is impatient with herself.  When she talks about her financial situation, she invariably scowls, frowns, or cries.  Shifting in her chair, twisting her hair, crossing and uncrossing her legs: her body is in agitated, staccato motion when money is the topic. To her credit, Sally is now addressing this situation strategically:  she is actively […] Read More»

The Fourth Transition: Courage

Courage is the essential quality fueling every deliberate change. There is no shortage of courageous acts we can take with food.   If we are accustomed to saving some food for later, we can experiment with giving food away (and noticing if we are afraid of scarcity). If we are accustomed to eating quickly, we […] Read More»

The Third Transition: Foresight

How do you know if you are moving from chapter 3 to chapter 4? Your story shortens. Foresight is the ability to accurately anticipate the likely outcome to a given choice. As the word itself implies, you are now able to see the future before it happens. How does the development of foresight shorten your […] Read More»

The Second Transition: Responsibility

The transition from chapter 2 to chapter 3 is in this line: “It is my fault.” The key word here is fault. As a psychologist, I have come to dislike this word. Too many people believe “fault” means “placing complete responsibility for my actions on the person who showed or taught me how to do […] Read More»

The First Transition: Awareness

The transition from chapter 1 to chapter 2 is in this line: “I pretend I don’t see it.” The key word here is pretend. Pretending means that, on some level, you know the difference between the pretense and truth.  You may pretend you don’t see the “holes” (painful, repetitive situations) you get into around food.  […] Read More»

From Food to Feast: What chapter are you living?

AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE SHORT CHAPTERS by Portia Nelson I I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost…I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes me forever to find a way out. II I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole […] Read More»