My experience has shown that so many of us already know what to do but are finding it difficult to stick to those ‘healthy habits’ and apply our learnings. That’s where psychotherapy comes in - helping us to go deeper through compassionate inquiry informed by Internal Family Systems therapy, a wonderful modality that helps us meet ALL of the parts of us involved in the addictive process.
Questions we might ask are:
• What parts of me are needing to eat addictively and for what purpose?
• What is their positive intention?
• What other parts are critical of those addictive and impulsive parts?
• What parts want to eat healthily and what other parts absolutely do not want to give up specific foods?
• What parts hold what beliefs about what foods and where have they learned those beliefs?
• What parts feel hopeless and discouraged and exhausted?
• What parts are unhappy with our body and weight and are seeking to restrict our food?
• What internal pressures and polarisations are created by all of these warring parts?
• Is there a way we can curiously get to know these parts, and help them meet their positive intentions in other ways?
• Are there underlying wounds outside of current awareness that might seek healing to ease the addictive processes?
• To what extent is biology involved, and to what extent have my parts learned this behaviour, and what is the best way to move forward based on this learning?
• Will I need to completely abstain from specific foods and ways of eating?
• Or will I be able to eat all types of foods in moderation?
• Is restricting food necessary or harmful for my system?
•What inner pain and burdens are my parts seeking to heal and release?
We will only be able to find those answers by listening to all of our parts, and through trial and error of different eating guidelines. Internal Family Systems is a wonderful approach to explore addictions, disordered eating, and set up food and recovery lifestyles that work for us.