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To successfully overcome food addiction, one must be able to challenge and overcome certain thought processes. This may be aided by having available certain psychological ‘tools’. The following therapies are easily self -taught and may help to provide some, if not all, of these ‘tools’.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps people to change their unhelpful or unhealthy thought patterns, habits and behaviours. It is one of the most established and researched psychological therapies. For some issues, such as anxiety and depression, CBT can be as effective as prescribed medication. Importantly, CBT has shown to be effective with people with food addictions.

CBT teaches you that it is possible to have control over your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. You learn to challenge automatic beliefs and you apply practical strategies to change or modify your behaviour. As a result, you have more positive feelings, which in turn lead to more positive thoughts and actions.

Food Addiction

‘Change Your Thinking’ by Sarah Edelman, is a best-selling practical guide for using CBT to find positive ways to deal with negative thoughts and emotions. Sarah, an Australian clinical psychologist, has designed this book to teach everyday people the principles of CBT and how to apply these principles to deal with emotional and behavioural issues. Although CBT is often utilised in a face-to-face situation with a therapist, it can be self-taught and this book is a great starting place.

‘Change Your Thinking’ can be purchased from most quality book shops or online here from the ABC Shop

Mindfulness

‘Mindfulness’ is an ancient practice found in many Eastern philosophies that has only recently been embraced by Western psychology. It has been recognised as an effective way to increase fulfilment, reduce stress and challenge destructive processes.  Mindfulness can be defined as: paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. It has been described as a profound way to enhance psychological and emotional resilience, and increase life satisfaction.

Mindfulness-based learning cultivates greater self acceptance, clarity of mind and a sustained inner ability to alleviate stress. By changing the way you approach, think and feel about challenging situations, you can see new solutions and opportunities. By utilising these skills, you are able to help your own way out of negative thoughts and behaviour patterns. This enables you to function better, be more productive and get more enjoyment from your life.

Research has shown mindfulness to have profound, sustained effects for a broad range of people. Mindfulness is a skill and, like most skills, it improves and becomes easier with practice. These skills can be self-taught and there are many courses and institutions that offer further education and guidance.

Pema Chodron is a well known author and teacher of Buddhist based mindfulness. She is a prolific author and many of her books are available as audio downloads. Her books, audio books and workshops are insightful, educational and meditative in their own right. All of her material has valuable information and comes highly recommended. Listening to her audio books is a great way to learn, as you hear her voice, subtleties and her wealth of experience and knowledge. Her entire collection of work is available here.

My personal recommendation is ‘Getting Unstuck’.

Jack Kornfield holds a PhD in clinical psychology and is a trained Buddhist monk. He was one of the first teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practices to the West. Jack too has written many books. In particular, a number of his audiobooks provide complete training in the principles of mindfulness and mediation. In conjunction with the works of Pema Chodron, all aspects of mindfulness can be self-taught from these resources. A complete collection of Jack Kornfield’s work is available here.

The Body Doctor - Food Addiction 4

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My personal recommendations are: ‘The Roots of Buddhist Psychology’ and ‘Buddhist Meditation for Beginners’

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