Shantay Williams

Shantay Williams

As a Marriage and Family Therapy intern, I provide confidential counseling to help individuals, couples, families, and groups reach their...

Ariah Washington

Ariah Washington

My passion is helping people manage their anxiety, fears, and frustrations; to discover and unlock their own resilience, and not...

Felicia Cota

Felicia Cota

If you find yourself struggling, feeling overwhelmed or experiencing painful emotions in your everyday life or perhaps experiencing triggers from...

Trasi June

Trasi Freeman

I cannot fix you, because you are not broken! Sometimes when we are repeating the same destructive cycles and patterns...

Lourdes Ibarra

Lourdes Ibarra

I am passionate about helping individuals heal and feel empowered to look at their lives through clearer lenses. My approach...

Kelly Lopez

Kelly Lopez

I am a Licensed Associate Counselor, specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, trauma, abuse/neglect, relationship problems, and basic human...

Valerie Southwick

Valerie Alston-Southwick, LPC

The most rewarding part of my job is helping couples repair their relationship. I have advanced training in Emotionally Focused...

Relationship Therapy

We are all hardwired for connection. In fact it is our most basic human need. Our survival is dependent on...

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