CBT for dealing with food and emotions- where to find?

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CBT for dealing with food and emotions- where to find?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Delayedgratification 4 years, 6 months ago.

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  • More of an question, I wondered whether others (you) get their support once food is no longer there to provide their emotional support.

    I speak to many friends (I’m included in this) who say they eat when stressed, lots have stressful jobs, eat when upset, bored – where can they (and I) find CBT support, online?

    The NHS is bogged under with those with depression/eating disorders requiring CBT to deal with their very serious issues. Reaching for a chocolate bar when feeling under pressure doesn’t quite come under those categories.

    It would be really useful to find somewhere/someone who could assist with the emotional side and strategies. I understand some very well known low calorie commercial diet companies offer CBT and this has been part of their success. Is there anyway for those of us who wouldn’t be deemed serious enough for an NHS referral but that would help with “better thinking” and coping mechanisms.

    I absolutely thought counseling was important as I had spent most of my life morbidly obese and knew that dealing with my binge eating disorder at a mental level rather than at a diet level was critical to the eventual maintenance of any weight lost. When I made a personal commitment to finally deal with my obesity the first professional I saw (apart from my GP) was not a dietitian it was a counselor. I had 6 sessions and worked really hard at uncovering the thought patterns, behaviour patterns and external influences (family, friends, advertising…) that kept my weight high. Then I worked on finding solutions to change them. That was a work in progress that became more detailed and effective the longer I thought about it and worked on it.

    I can’t comment on the NHS or the British health system or the US system.
    In Australia there are a few options, if you think counseling might help you to modify your behaviour with food.
    – If you have a “Health Care Plan” with your GP, psychology services are available with the majority of the cost covered by medicare for up to 5 sessions per year. Health Care plans are an available option for anyone with a chronic disease (eg high blood pressure or diabetes). If you want access to this it’s worth having a discussion with your GP. There’s also a Mental Health Care Plan available for those with conditions such as depression or anxiety – this plan gives you access to both 5 one-on-one psychology sessions and also 10 groups sessions a year.
    – If you have private health insurance with extras cover look at your policy – psychology is often covered. This usually doesn’t cover the whole cost, but the subsidy can make it more affordable.
    – Some companies (usually larger companies) and some state/federal government employers offer limited access to a counseling service. (It’s usually an external provider who they contract to provide these services and is not normally people within the organisation.) Companies where dangerous and stressful situations are likely to occur are the most likely to provide this. Often the services can be accessed for issues that aren’t work related. An employer will do this as an employee that deals with their issues is less likely to take extended sick leave to deal with stress – this can be a huge saving for an employer. (This is actually how I accessed counseling – my employer funded a max. of 6 sessions a year.) If you are unsure ask your personnel area.
    – If none of these is available you could consider paying for some sessions. Even 3-4 can make a big difference, especially if you put a lot of work into thinking about the patterns you can see and documenting it all. The more work you do outside of the sessions, usually the quicker the process and the fewer sessions you need – give yourself enough time between sessions so you can make progress and get the most benefit from that next appointment. I had 6 sessions, but I think I cold have done what I needed in 4.
    – A cheaper option is to look at group sessions. Some psychology organisations run group sessions that are cheaper (eg 10 x 1hour sessions for $500 is the going rate where I live). You also learn more by listening to the connections between thought and behaviour that other participants have made. Some of the group sessions I’ve considered doing have been focused on mindfulness or on self image – both cover our relationship with food.

    There’s another option that’s available to everyone here. Start a self-help group on this forum. There used to be one that I participated in and found helpful: https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/binge-eating-disorder-group/ This thread is no longer active but if enough people commit to it you could revive it.

    I am so sorry o never replied to this very thoughtful helpful post.

    I am actually in the U.K. and services on the nhs are bogged under and I feel guilty highlighting my issues when there are others already on the waiting list in dire need of help- more so than me.

    I am finding the online community a great support but rely on it too much I think. On those days I feel very stressed I still struggle. 16:8 interestingly appears to be helping with my binge eating – I haven’t quite put my finger on whether that’s psychological or biological!

    Again it was so kind of you to share your experiences and success. It’s actually very hard to find a practitioner in the U.K., they generally appear eating disorder focused (which I guess any reliance of using food to manage emotions is a disorder as is bingeing – but mine although undoubtedly worsened by severe dieting restricting (which I don’t do) is more to do with just eating when stressed/ excited/ feeling out of control with life. It’s not quite as dramatic as that and I’ve definitely come a long way it’s a shame I can’t find the right psychologist person to talk to about it even if it were via computer. These support groups are so great though and I wonder where I’d be without them and kind people like you sharing their experiences and support. Thank you.

    Thankyou for your words.
    I wouldn’t worry about feeling you are relying too much on online support. I rely on the forum here a lot too. There are many days where my eating would be much worse without it.

    It’s a number of years since I did the counselling sessions and since then I’ve relied on online support here. Sometimes I’m looking for help or advice; sometimes I’m looking for strategies that will help me deal with a food challenge; sometimes for someone to talk me out of a bad food choice; sometimes I just need to somewhere to be publicly accountable for poor food choices.

    I mostly talk to others on the Southern Hempisphere forum and have found them to be a really supportive group of friends. I think that’s the huge benefit of this forum – we support each other through the difficult days.

    Dr Zoe Harcombe has some helpful advice in the later chapters of her latest book on ‘diet’ called, How to lose weight and keep it off – The Diet Fix, £8.99 at WH Smith, etc.

    Her approach is not entirely dissimilar to Dr Michael Mosley’s in that it suggests that low-carb is the way to lose weight, keep it off, and gain health benefits. She does also emphasise that to lose fat we need to keep insulin low (no carbs to trigger it – i.e. you need time between meals when you are not full), and to enable glucagon to switch on to start ‘burning fat’ (by being generally active, not necessarily doing sports, and not being full of food), plus not eating fat with carbohydrate (butter on bread/cheese on crackers etc because that combination of foods is moreish).

    Personally I think, if you are not affected by type 2 diabetes, perhaps you might feel better eating some whole carbs at most meals (brown, or wholegrain rice, lentils, beans, etc).


    Andy Cope and friends’ books ‘Zest’, ‘Shine’, etc (published by Wiley), at WHSmith etc and online, suggest that being happy is a foundation for further happiness and well-being (in other words, that being happy/realistically positive) is something you do first, and good things follow). I’ll give it a go, and if it helps with my weight issues I’ll be pleased.

    Thanks for sharing both.

    I find it hard to distinguish between low blood glucose mood slumps and low mood and craving for carbs. i do find carbs can give me a mood lift if I have enough of them. Maybe there is soem deep routed psychological thing going on. That said years a go I maintaned a lower body weight without over eating staying very low carb, med diet – lots of olive oil, fish and veggies.

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