The Relationship Blog

Technique to Deal With Eating Disorders – Eating Disorder Treatment

I’m what people call an “emotional eater” and I can’t seem to get out of this terrible habit. What can I do?

The first thing I want you to realize is that being an emotional eater puts you in the majority not the minority. There’s a lot, many, people who live to eat. It is one of the favorite occupations of our culture. Being an emotional eater has a purpose though, it is to help you sooth all the feelings that you find uncomfortable. Be it fear, being lonely, being sad, be it anxiety, your emotional eater is there to help you sooth these feelings. So starting from that point, realizing that there’s a positiveness to this. So I want you to stop calling yourself names, and judging yourself. And I want you to let go of all your self-loathing. So that you’ll be open to what I’m gonna share with you. Which is a very personal process in regards to your emotional eater. I want you to create a dialogue with your eater. So that you’re having a personal relationship, back and forth, rather than experiencing just that your emotional eater is doing something and just that it’s a terrible habit.

As a start in having this dialogue I want you to say to your eater: “I no longer want to be dependent on you. I no longer want you running the show. I want to start experiencing these feelings that I’ve been running from and facing these feelings. And in that way, you can start the dialogue. Now you need to understand that your emotional eater has been with you for a long time and is not just going to drop off the map just because you made one statement. Because your emotional eater is probably going to say back to you :  “What are you kidding? You got to be kidding. You’re going to be without me? You’re going to experience these feelings without me? You’re not capable of it. I’ve heard this from you before. And within a very short time you come running back to me. You need me! And you need to face that you need me! At this point, is a critical point, and you need to decide that you’re really committed to this and you’re gonna stay in the dialogue. And in doing it you need to answer the emotional eater back. And say, “Yes, I have had difficulty. Yes, I have needed you in the past. But i no longer want to do that. I wanna let you know that I’m willing to be scared. And I no longer need your protection. Now the more you can do this… but this is not just something that you do on a Tuesday, this is something that you’re gonna need to integrate into your life. Where you’re having this personal dialogue all the time. Especially when you go near food. But the more you can do this and the more you can be personal with yourself and deal with the eater, up front, the more you will have control over this part of you.

For more information on eating disorder treatment, contact Dr. Bruce Derman PH.D. at

Author: Bruce Derman Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Woodland Hills and Santa Monica, California who specializes in working with people in all stages of relationships. You may reach Dr. Derman by calling (818) 375-7194.

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