Kristina Marchese

Experiencing trauma can often create a response similar to a pebble thrown into a still pond. The incident may seem small at first, but the ripples swell out and disrupt your sense of control and balance. If you have experienced Anxiety/Depression, Sexual Assault, P TSD or other negative experiences, you most likely are familiar with the rippling effects of distressed feelings, amplifying intrusive thoughts as well as emotions of anger, pain, sadness, despair and more. Distressing and unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, and even physical ailments can interrupt your relationships, education, career, finances or more. It may seem that no matter what, you reap the punishment and often the burden, while others reap the reward. You may use substances to numb the pain, or self-harm just to feel “something.”  You may overeat, or starve yourself as a way to “punish yourself.”  It may feel like your mind is wandering into a dark place you shouldn’t visit alone, full of distress, worry and ruminating, while you are struggling to “just be okay…”

I recognize it takes courage and wisdom to dive into the pond, find your pebble, and reclaim the parts of your life trauma has taken from you.  You have all the resources of power and information you need to face life’s challenges and to make the best choices for yourself. However, in times of great distress or prolonged stress our bodies and nervous systems can get overloaded making it hard – or at times even impossible – to access that strength and wisdom when we are in survival mode. As a trauma therapist with a concentration in eating disorders, my job is to create a safe space, really taking the time to get to know you, so that I can help you to access your own strength, intuition, and to reconnect with your inner voice.

A session with me might include challenging negative thoughts you may have that triggered bad feelings and unhealthy behaviors. We might also look for ways to uninstall negative core beliefs about yourself, and replace them with more desirable thoughts and feelings. In turn we can work on building skills that bring you closer to the life you want. As a certified Family Functional Therapist (FFT), I work with teens, adults, and families using techniques such as CBT, DBT, the Meadows Model for trauma, and EMDR therapy. I also have experience in vocational rehabilitation and supporting clients with diverse needs.

You don’t have to be alone in your struggles or in your journey of self-discovery. Counseling is an opportunity to have someone walk alongside you, encourage you, and help you manage life’s challenges. What difference would it make for you to feel seen, heard, and understood? I am standing by ready to hear your story with empathy and compassion.

Kristina Marchese

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