Ariah Washington

My passion is helping people manage their anxiety, fears, and frustrations; to discover and unlock their own resilience, and not only overcome, but thrive, in the face of life’s inevitable adversities. My experience is that life’s struggles are rarely created or resolved in isolation. That is why my therapy approach is to address concerns in the context of attachment and relationship “systems,” where connection, or lack thereof, plays an essential role in our quest for healing.
I have experience working with teens, emerging adults, and adults in a variety of areas including couples counseling, depression, anxiety, stress management, self-esteem, grief and loss, and coping strategies.
If you are curious, open to sharing, and looking to grow, I provide a safe space to explore the issues that may be weighing you down in your daily life. Together we can discover why you do what you do and develop techniques to help you create and strengthen relationships, develop and apply effective coping skills, and discover and implement resiliency regardless of life’s challenges.
Whether you are looking to strengthen relationships, recover from loss, or work through other struggles, I will work deliberately to create a secure and inviting environment built on trust. A place where you feel comfortable and heard, and where solutions can be discovered that work best for you and your personal experiences.
Ariah Washington
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Eating Disorders - It's Not About the Food

By Kelly Lopez

If it’s not about the food, what is it really about?

The eating disorder serves a function, it does a job. Despite the problems an eating disorder creates, it is an effort to cope, shield against, communicate, and solve problems. Behaviors may be a way to establish a sense of power or control, self-worth, strength, and containment. Bringing may be used to numb pain. Purging may be a way to release emotions. When one cannot cope in healthy ways, adaptive functions (behaviors) are created to ensure a sense of safety, security, and control.
According to Carolyn Costin*, some of the “adaptive functions that eating disorder behaviors commonly serve are”:
It’s not about the food, it’s a way of coping with low self-esteem, negative emotions, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, unstable home, difficulty resolving conflict and much more.
*Costin, Carolyn. The Eating Disorder Sourcebook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Causes, Treatments and Prevention of Eating Disorders. 3rd. edition, McGraw Hill, 2007.
Fuller, Kristen. “Eating Disorders: It’s Not All about Food.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 22 Mar. 2017