Case study: Emotional Eating

Sam is a young woman in her mid-thirties trying to deal with her relationship with food.  She found herself overeating and felt she needed support, but wasn’t sure if counselling was the right route to take.  Sam was convinced that she ate because she was bored and not because there was anything wrong with her life.  She felt that she loved food and that it gave her comfort.

Sam visited various weight loss agencies but found herself gain weight time and time again and really wanted to get to the bottom of why this was happening.  She felt that she was motivated enough and that that should be reason enough for her to stay at her target weight.  Sam exercised regularly and loved spending time outdoors, but still it seemed that this was not enough to keep her weight gain down.

When she started counselling she felt reluctant that it would make any difference but as the sessions progressed she found herself for the first time dealing with her feelings and underlying issues.

Through counselling she was able to identify that the loss of her mother had a huge effect on her life.  It felt as if she had she never really grieved, which not only left her feeling lonely, but created a sense of isolation where food not only filled her emotional needs but also gave her life purpose.

Sam was able to work through her grief and come to terms with the loss of her mother.  It really helped her to recognise that eating gave her comfort and that she had fallen into the habit of eating whenever she felt low.  Her eating was fulfilling an emotional need.  Sam became aware that she didn’t eat because she was hungry; she ate because she needed to feel loved.  Eating reminded her of home, of her mum.

Counselling has not only changed Sam’s outlook on life, but also helped her move forward with her life.  During her therapy she not only started losing weight but also started socializing with her friends on a regular basis.  Sam had not only changed her eating, but changed her life by adapting her thinking and knowing what she needed emotionally.  When the time was right, Sam ended therapy knowing that she had the ability to live her life with a new spring in her step, ready for what the future might hold.

Please note that all name’s on this website have been changed to protect confidentiality.