Food is food (and it’s all good).

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Today’s pervasive diet culture uses a lot of moralistic language when describing food – everything from desserts to butter to carbs might fall under the “Bad” category, while the ever-pompous kale holds the trophy for “Good”-est food. This kind of language gets generalized to the people doing the eating, creating categories couched in Shame – this is where we end up with descriptors like “lazy” and “undisciplined”, or “neurotic” and “obsessive”,  to describe the personal choices that are made around food without knowledge of the person making them.

Objectively and outside of diet culture, food is really just food.  A donut and a carrot and a piece of chicken all carry the same moral value, which is to say that they carry no moral value whatsoever.  Within this mysterious Otherworld of judgment-free eating, a lot of extra space opens up. There is space for dispassionate carb-loading to “fuel up”. There is space for emotional eating (which has enough juice for about 4,000 other blog posts) after a breakup or a bad haircut.  There is space for an extra glass of wine or a rich dessert when out to dinner with friends. And all that space sure creates some breathing room.

I get it when I hear my clients say that they feel shame and guilt when they let themselves eat something that’s been categorized as Bad by some diet standard (ten extra Shame points if it was eaten in front of other people). Or when they receive a clear judgment statement from someone they care about, even if it’s disguised in diet-centric concern (Confusing health and thin-ness is the major offender here). I dare you to find a woman that DOESN’T get this to some degree. But here’s the rub on this one: all that shame and guilt and worry about eating or not eating and Good and Bad-ness is exhausting. It adds to our stress and lowers our self-worth. It makes us compare ourselves to one another, stay in relationships that don’t deserve us, and make ourselves nuts trying to reach a standard that’s unreachable.

All of these things are more unhealthy than an ice cream sandwich. By miles.

I encourage clients (and myself) to watch their language about food. Remove any moralizing. Begin to sit with the Part of them that Judges food as Good and Bad. What is  it afraid will happen if food is just food? What is it protecting?

That is where the real work begins.


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Some frequently asked questions and useful answers.

Online therapy works in the same way as in-office therapy, but is done online, similar to a Skype or FaceTime conversation. Clients are able to have sessions from home, work, or any other convenient location. We meet with clients using a HIPAA-compliant secure platform.

Online therapy allows you to work with us from the comfort of home, or any private location of your choosing. For some, the screen provides an added layer of comfort that makes the challenging work of being vulnerable in therapy a little easier.

Online therapy also creates the unique opportunity for you to work with us without the constraints of proximity! The practice was born in Keene, New Hampshire, but has since grown to service clients anywhere in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Florida, and New Hampshire.

Online therapy is a great option for clients that travel for work, for college students that go home during the summertime and do not want a break in their sessions, and for anyone with a challenging or inconsistent day-to-day schedule. It is an excellent choice for clients seeking a therapist with a particular specialty that they are unable to find support for locally. Some of our clients report that online therapy makes the vulnerability element of therapy a bit less intimidating.

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Confidentiality. Insurance companies require that your information be shared with them in order to pay for services. We prefer that clients’ information is kept as confidential as possible.

The pressure to diagnose. Insurance companies require that clients are given a mental health diagnosis in order to pay for therapy. We have found that many clients benefit from therapy, but do not meet criteria for a diagnosis. Not using insurance allows clients to access therapy without being given a mental health diagnosis.

Flexibility and freedom. Insurance companies dictate the length and number of sessions they will authorize, as well as when a client is no longer eligible for the benefits of therapy. Because we do not work with insurance panels, you and we can collaborate to determine your individual needs regarding session length, frequency of sessions, and when to terminate therapy.

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