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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.


Dear Tracy, My book is meant to be read slowly. By that I mean a chapter every few weeks while you do the exercises daily at the end of the chapter until you are at home with them. Then you move to the next chapter. The exercises are designed to build your internal resources gradually so you can take on the next growth level. About my experience, I was working on my recovery. When I began my practice most people came to me for guided imagery work. I had studied at NPI with the best of the best and was quite proficient in the field. It was and is a treatment using metaphoric language that helped heal and integrate a person while only partially going into the specifics of a situation. I was challenged, as any therapist would be, but fine. The timing of my going into deep psychotherapy with a brilliant and senior psychoanalyst was exquisitely right for me. I was transitioning from metaphor to specific and was on the verge of working with people who had eating disorders. I felt that the deep and painful, often agonizing work I was doing with my therapist allowed me to accompany my patients with compassion and understanding as they went to their places of agony. In fact, I wondered at one point, if I would still be a therapist after I achieved my own healing. The issue was, why would I open myself up to such pain if I didn't have to? It's a question that can't be answered in advance. Obviously I remained a therapist. And I can open myself to receive and empathize with the pain of my patients because I remember mine. Empathy allows me to feel their pain for a moment. That brings up understanding and compassion in me....and real information about their internal state and how they respond to what's going on in their internal and external environment. Because I had a therapist who could emotionally tolerate my stories and think and be compassionate at the same time, I learned, eventually, to do the same. And before I developed the sturdiness to do this on my own I could rely on her to help me carry what I could not fully carry myself, yet. And... I was going to 12 step meetings of all kinds, writing, tending my spiritual needs and gardening. Gardening was and is a critical part of my healing and health. The metaphors of everything having to do with life forces in a garden that is continual life and death issues, and seasons and cycles nourish my mind and soul. I didn't feel like a loser because I wasn't and neither are you. We are human beings. And human beings are part of the cycle of life with all the challenges of any life form. It's not about the problems we have. It's about finding the effective ways to cope with and surmount those problems. The exercises in HHH, done gradually and on a regular basis, are designed to build sturdiness within (not through will power) to cope and surmount your problems, including an eating disorder. Whew. That was a lot to say. I hope this helps.

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