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If you suffer from an eating disorder now or have in the past, please email Joanna for a free telephone consultation.



Eating Disorder Recovery
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Eating Disorder Recovery Psychotherapist
serving Arizona, California, Florida, Oregon and Utah.
All appointments are virtual.


follow the metaphor gardening 2518377 640                                                                                      * Dig deep

Eating disorders block our intuition and sense of deep self. Our passionate actions can mirror back to us the unconscious processes of our psyches. That mirroring allows us to catch the callings of our deep self and recognize where we are on our path to eating disorder recovery, wholeness and fulfillment.

When we seem removed from our inner life planning and enthusiastically enter into an unexpected task we are often being guided by our deep Self, giving us answers to questions we haven’t allowed ourselves to ask.  Paying attention to these actions can bring us to a deeper understanding of our state of mind, our choices, decisions and especially what lies ahead for us in life.

What do you want out of life? Is it the same as what you wanted a few years ago or a few decades ago? What’s important to you now? Where should you focus your energy? How can you achieve more happiness and fulfillment?

Periodically we ask ourselves these questions. Certainly, we ask them when we are young and just starting out in life. If we have suffered in our lives and developed emotional defenses to protect us from pain and danger, we give those defenses priority over our deeply felt desires.

In such circumstances we will choose bingeing or purging food rather than participating in a valuable social or business activity.  We will starve ourselves to fragility rather than develop rich and honest relationships with other people. We will drink alcohol or take drugs to excess instead of showing up at work, or school or the hospital bed of a loved one.

When we develop our strengths, heal from within, accept responsibility for our lives and stand firm in our independence we clear ourselves of these desperate survival methods. This is the hard work of psychotherapy, often with support of anonymous programs.

When we clear ourselves of these obsessive and compulsive ways of caring for ourselves, we find ourselves in a new world.

If we are not making decisions based on maintaining our old (and defective) support systems, how do we make decisions?

If making sure our binge food or food scale or alcohol or drug supply is not our highest priority, then what is our highest priority?

Recovery brings new challenges as your world opens unknown vistas.

A helpful way to determine your new path in life and your new true commitments is to recognize and allow your unconscious to communicate with your conscious.

Working with your dreams, paying attention to tasks you take on with vigor, wondering about aspects of nature that stir your emotions are your doorways. 

Deciding to finally organize your closets and drawers or files or garage and pouring your energy into the task can be the call of your Self to clear your life, organize your priorities, let go of what no longer serves. You are in an early phase of streamlining your inner world so you are ready and able to take the next steps that are on their way to you.

Noticing your garden is less vibrant than it was in the past and finally deciding to do something about it. You some Internet research, learn about fertilizers for your specific plants. You feel motivated to go off to the nursery, buy what your plants need, come home and fertilize appropriately till you have completed the job.

You are ready to re evaluate your mind, energy, health, work efforts, your role in your relationships and education. You are ready to “dig in.” You are on the verge of noticing where your heart or soul or mind  or body (or all) need a different kind of nourishment or more nourishment than you are giving yourself now. You are stopping a withering of spirit. You are preparing yourself to grow and blossom.

“Finally” getting to a task means we’ve had the issue in the back of our minds for some time.  We forget it or postpone it. When the task bubbles up to the surface and we “finally” get to it, the needs of our deep self breaks through by skipping our conscious mind and moving us to physical action.

When we explore the metaphor of our actions, we are more receptive to what our deeper self cares about, wants and needs. We let our unconscious show us our direction and our path.

Psychotherapy with Joanna

*Pixabay Image 

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