The body is at the center of it all.
“Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from themselves.”
-Bessel van der Kolk
Often, unresolved trauma results in estrangement from your own body. The signals become obscured and interrupted. Hunger becomes confused with a need for physical contact, or there is an inability to feel hunger at all. People who struggle with emotional eating behavior might be attempting to soothe pain or discomfort with food.
Arousal and desire for sex become obscured and interrupted by trauma as well. A negative sexual experience from the past can impact your ability to feel safe in your body and desire for sex or even experience arousal.
In the same way that hunger is a cue from your body, arousal is also an important biological function that can become muted or shut down. Many people who struggle with their relationship to food also have difficulty experiencing sexual pleasure. This occurs on a physiological level as well as a psychological level; a disordered relationship to food and eating can cause irregularities in or disruptions to blood sugar and hormonal functioning. When your stress hormones are out of balance, your sex hormones are too.
Therapy can improve your relationship to your body, to food, and to sex.
I work with clients to understand how and when your relationship to your body became so difficult and counterintuitive. My approach makes sense of disordered eating behavior from a biological as well as a psychological perspective. My work is informed by intuitive eating theories, as well as Eastern notions of health and wellness (like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda.) We work together to bring you back into an intuitive relationship with your hunger, with food, and your body.
Feeling safe and good inside your body, and feeling confident that you know how to nourish yourself makes pleasure more accessible.
If you're curious to learn more about how I work with these issues, please reach out or check out the resources on these subjects I've included below.
Books & Podcasts
Eating in the Light of the Moon by Anita Johnston
When Food is Love by Geneen Roth
Intuitive Eating by by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole
Healthy Happy Sexy by Katie Silcox
Food Psych Podcast with Christy Harrison
The Ghee Spot Podcast with Katie Silcox