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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.


The comfort versus holding issue never goes away. AND there's nothing wrong with either when used or accepted mindfully.

PTC, you might well want comforting when you cats die.  At the same time, someone quetly being with you may give you a comfort  through holding that is even greater than an attempt to comfort.  

The experience of "being present for someone else" is a border territory that can be both comforting and holding.

Tracy, shutting down is an attempt to get away from painful feelings you believe you can't bear.  You may need enough soothing, just enough, that allows you to bear the feelings you can bear in a holding experience.  This is like an artistic choice where you mix the right combinations, i.e. right for your unique situation, so that you are soothed enough to be held and feel what you are capable of feeling so far.

Laura, what I described to Tracy may be what was happening in your therapy.  Your therapist may have been trying to give you enough comfort so that you were capable of being held and feeling what you feel.  Sounds like your big challenge is to accept your humanity and know that wanting and needing help, comfort, holding, reassurance, guidance and caring is very human.  We never outgrow this. We do learn to give it to ourselves, ask for it from others, give it and accept it differently than we did as children.

Shh, time becomes an issue when you deny your resistance.  You need 30 seconds to write one sentence.  You don't need everything in order with predetermined amounts of time set aside for giving yourself the experience of comfort or soothing or holding.  I know you know this.  

Why not pick an activity you do every day or, even better, something you do several times a day.  Tack on to that activity a full minute of mindful breathing or one or two sentence of journalling or both?  An example could be brushing your teeth or your hair or making your bed.  Introduce a little to what's already established in your day.  It's a way to start.  You'll get benefits, even from just a little attention to yourself in this way.

Thank you all for your comments and stories.  Each of you help me to think and feel more deeply about these issues.  And I know you are helping each other as you make your strides toward healing and inner harmony.  

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