Managing automatic and unhelpful thoughts

By Deborah Etienne-Ward It is common to assume that our feelings are automatic and that they occur as a direct result of situations and other people. Often we are unaware that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are all linked. Each time an event or situation occurs, our brain processes and evaluates the information. When the … Continued

Managing binge eating with distress tolerance

By Deborah Etienne Ward Much of the time binge eating episodes occur following the experience of distress and negative emotions. Binge eating serves as an unhelpful way to manage the feelings that we experience. For a short time after binging some people will feel better. However, in the long term binge eating leads to more negative … Continued

Caring for Ourselves

By Deborah Etienne-Ward All too often we criticise our own bodies e.g. “too fat”, “too skinny”, “too short”, “too tall”, “legs are too big”, “stomach isn’t flat” and so forth. These criticisms make us feel shame. As a way to reduce the feeling of shame it is not uncommon for people to restrict their food … Continued

Why my diet isn’t working

By Deborah Etienne-Ward Height is largely determined by our genetics. Similarly, genetics also plays a large role in determining our weight (Silventoinen & Kaprio, 2009). We largely accept that there is variety between people in height; however, we tend to idealise a thin body shape and discriminate against other body shapes and weights. According to set … Continued

A RAVES approach to healthy eating

By Deborah Etienne-Ward Adapted from original article by Eating Disorders Association. See video by Shane Jeffery for more information about RAVES. RAVES is an acronym which provides a step-by-step process to help with developing a healthy relationship with food. RAVES stands for Regularity, Adequacy, Variety, Eating Socially, Spontaneity. It is important to remember that RAVES … Continued

Reducing Negative Emotions and Increasing Positive Emotions

By Deborah Etienne-Ward It is not normal or even possible to experience positive emotions all the time and be rid of negative emotions. This is because positive and negative emotions serve an evolutionary function by making us feel good after adaptive behaviours and not so good after maladaptive behaviours. With that said there are steps … Continued

Fat Talk

By Deborah Etienne-Ward   Friend 1: “Ugh, I hate my thighs”? Friend 2: “What’s wrong with your thighs?” Friend 1: “They are so fat” Friend 2: “Oh please, you have no fat” Friend 1: “Yes I do, look!” Friend 2: “OMG (Oh My God) there’s nothing there. If you think you are fat then I … Continued

Tips for Providing Meal Support

By Deborah Etienne-Ward Meal times are often challenging for both the person with an eating disorder and their family or friends who are trying to provide support. People with eating disorders can have a range of unusual eating behaviours including: Not eating or eating a very small amount Not eating certain foods Cutting food into … Continued

Understanding Self-Harm and Eating Disorders in Adolescents

By Deborah Etienne-Ward An eating disorder is often seen as an indirect form of self-harm. Commonly however, people with eating disorders will also report to engage in more direct forms of self-harm such as cutting, burning, aggressive behaviour (e.g., punching the wall), and self-poisoning (e.g., medication overdose). Eating disorder and self-harm behaviours are often started … Continued

Dealing with the Self-Critic

By Deborah Etienne-Ward Do you ever beat yourself up for your shortcomings?  Do you often experience thoughts such as these: “I’m not good enough”, “I’m a failure”, “I’m not pretty enough”, “I am stupid”, “I hate myself”? When we are not able to meet our own expectations we experience emotional pain. Whilst we are very … Continued