Book Review: What Every Therapist Needs to Know about Treating Eating and Weight Issues
Ever wish your therapist could help more with your eating and weight issues? Wonder why a counselor doesn’t pick up on your distress over food or body image or minimizes these issues when you start talking about them? Feel angry that the only response a therapist has to your being overweight is to tell you to go on a diet? Love working with your therapist, but wish he or she had a better understanding of your eating and weight frustrations? My new book, What Every Therapist Needs to Know About Treating Eating and Weight Issues, has the answers you’re looking for—and much, much more.
Published by Norton Professional Books in September, 2008, What Every Therapist Needs to Know About Treating Eating and Weight Issues was written for general practitioners who have little or no training or experience working with these problems. Maybe they specialize in treating depression or anxiety or family dysfunction. Perhaps they’d recognize anorexia or bulimia as a serious condition right off, but minimize your obsession with calories, don’t get how losing and regaining the same pounds over decades frustrates the heck out of you, don’t understand your shame at being a normal weight while alternating between super restrictive dieting and binge-eating, or fail to comprehend your fear of doctors because of how disrespectfully fat people are treated.
This book covers numerous aspects of food and weight: how these issues surface during life stages (dating, mating, divorce, pregnancy, transition, loss, aging, etc.) and in conjunction with certain medical conditions, how they’re intertwined with low self-esteem, poor body image, difficulty with intimacy, sexuality, limit-setting, perfection, shame, self-care, trauma, depression, anxiety, abuse, and characterological traits which develop in childhood. Therapists also will find useful information about the biological roots of eating and weight problems, various approaches to raising and discussing food and body image problems in therapy, and how transference (client feelings about the therapist’s weight) and countertransference (therapist feelings about the client’s weight) can get in the way of therapeutic progress.