Karen's Blogs

Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational, and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life. Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox. 

[No unsolicited guest blogs accepted, thank you]



I can’t recall where I learned about it, but somewhere I read a while back about successful people being attuned to themselves. There was a study or bunch of studies which came to this conclusion (having no citation, you’ll have to trust me on this one). Right away I thought about my clients—which ones were more or less connected to themselves and how they related to their progress in eating disorders recovery.

Clinicians learn and generally talk a good deal about attunement in terms of how connected/in sync parents are to their children. When a parent on a long car ride finds her child crying, he might respond with understanding that children get fidgety strapped into car seats and need distraction. When a child comes home from school saying she’s fine but looks anxious and anger, an attuned parents asks if things really are okay. 

Parental attunement to children requires time, energy and focus. If mom and dad work two jobs to take care of the five of you kids, there may not be much attunement going on. Or if parents aren’t connected to their own feelings, they may be blind or deaf to what’s going on in their progeny. We learn attunement. It doesn’t just happen.

One of the places that learning occurs is in therapy because it’s a therapist’s job to be as close to 100% attuned to a client as possible. That means, of course, clinicians must be able to identify and stay tethered to their own feelings. This is where re-parenting comes into the picture which teaches the client how to self-attune.

You will not reach “normal” eating without self-attunement, being in touch with what you feel pretty much all the time: what feels pleasant and unpleasant, what and who brings you pleasure or pain, what’s too little, too much or just enough (of everything). It also involves knowing when you’re tired or thirsty or simply feel out of sorts. It requires that you mentally keep tabs on what you’re feeling—disappointed, helpless, invalidated, bored, lonely, confused, etc. 

Being self-attuned gives you crucial information to change behavior. For example, it’s vital to know if you’re too hot or cold so that you can do something about it. Attunement involves curiosity rather than judgment. It’s simply what’s up for you. To say that most dysregulated eaters are unattuned to themselves around food is an understatement. But lack of attunement is what also gets them stressed, stuck in abusive or neglectful relationships, doing too much for others, and not taking effective care of themselves. Focus on self-attunement and you’ll see amazing improvement in your life with food and everything else.








APPetite on Facebook


What’s the Difference Between Constructive and Des...
Recovery Works—Just Not as Fast as You Want

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.karenrkoenig.com/

This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.