Can Counseling Address The Issue Of Emotional Eating?

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Can counseling address the issue of emotional eating? Just as any other maladaptive behavior is used to cope with difficult feelings; counseling for an emotional eating disorder (ED) can be considered a means to cognitively adjust behavioral responses to negative emotions. Emotional eating is a behavioral response to negative emotional states in which individuals increase food intake. This form of disordered eating can be caused by many factors especially stress. Emotional eating is a common problem in today’s society, which is often overlooked and accepted as a social norm; people eat to celebrate, eat to feel better and eat to avoid distress. Once one becomes aware of their emotional eating, they can understand and recognize the…show more content…
Client X finds eating makes her feel better when stressed or depressed. According to Smith & Segal (2015), some of the main reasons individuals eat beside hunger are: cortisol cravings; social eating; nervous energy; childhood habits and stuffing emotions. Cortisol, known as "the stress hormone" has its function in the body at normal levels and is activated in the stress response of fight or flight; chronic stress increases levels of cortisol which can create cravings for salty and sugary foods which eaten in excess causes weight gain. In order to find comfort, some individuals going through emotional turmoil often seek out social support which is a good stress reliever, but it is common to incorporate food into socializing habits (social eating) by involving food as a focal point “meeting for lunch” or commiserating over a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, which feels good at the time but the long term effects of weight gain are nonproductive. Some individuals when experiencing stress due to nervousness or boredom can become “orally fidgety” which usually demonstrates a tendency to form habits of nail biting, teeth grinding and of course eating without being hungry. Other individuals who
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