Tag Archives: addiction

Welcome, Joyce James, LCSW!

 

Our newest therapist certified to provide The Anderson Method is Joyce James, LCSW, of Southbury, Connecticut, near Danbury.

Ms. James obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work from San Diego State University and has been practicing as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for over 30 years.

In her Psychology Today listing, Joyce states:

“Life can be hard. We all hit rough patches associated with relationships, health, stress, loss, grief, depression, divorce or change. When faced with such challenges, it helps to have a professional ally to help you focus, identify your options and move forward. My 30+ years of counseling experience become your asset. Together we will customize an approach for accessing your strengths and setting goals that will shape a brighter future. I want you to be happier, resolve your issues, make the right decisions for YOU and initiate a healthy plan. Our sessions will empower you to create the life that you desire.

I assist individuals and couples to recognize their strengths and to address their issues. My clients report that they experience a reduction in anxiety and an increase in feelings of well being as they accept their struggles and see positive outcomes for themselves and their significant others.

I offer afternoon, evening and Saturday hours to accommodate a variety of schedules. I serve clients through individual, couples, family and group interventions. We work together to find out what is the best approach to help you move forward.”

Joyce V. James, LCSW
1449 Old Waterbury Road, Suite 306-D
Southbury, CT 06488
(203) 586-6149  http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/name/Joyce_V_James_LCSW_Southbury_Connecticut_121432

 Welcome to the Anderson Method Network, Joyce James, LCSW!

Welcome, Dr. Tara Travia!

 

Our newest therapist certified to provide The Anderson Method is Tara Travia, Ph. D., of Reston, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D. C.

Dr. Travia obtained her Ph.D. at Kent State University and has been practicing as a Licensed Psychologist since 2003.

In her Psychology Today listing, Dr. Travia states:

“My areas of specialty are weight loss, trauma, processing sexual abuse, mindfulness/holistic healing, psychological assessment, and forensic psychology.

I work collaboratively with clients to increase their well-being, achieve goals, and better manage life’s challenges. I believe everyone has the innate capacity to manage these inevitable difficulties and experience more joy everyday. Although healing comes from within, it is sometimes elusive and my work is to help you with that process, providing direction when needed, and stepping out of the way when the work is done. I utilize a mixture of Cognitive-Behavioral (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment (ACT) techniques which have been found to have significant benefits for those seeking treatment.

I am certified to provide the Anderson Method of Weight Loss to clients. If you are currently struggling with weight issues and have a desire to change your relationship with food for lifelong health, please contact me for an in-office appointment to assess your fit with this method at no charge.”

Tara Travia, Ph.D.
1984 Isaac Newton Square West
Suite 204
Reston, VA 20190
(724) 664-9943
http://drtaratravia.com
http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/name/Tara_Travia_PhD,CSOTP_Reston_Virginia_111505

Welcome to the Anderson Method Network, Dr. Travia!

Food, Sex, Obesity and Weight Loss: What Are the Connections?

Libido — That’s sex drive, right?

Actually, no. While most doctors today think that libido means sex drive (as in decreased or increased libido), libido actually describes eating drive as well.

Click here to read the whole article on The Huffington Post

William Anderson a ChooseHelp.com Expert in their “Ask the Expert” Q&A’s

In it’s infancy, before it became a national clearinghouse for mental health and addiction treatment information, ChooseHelp.com asked me to write for their Q&A “Ask the Expert” column.

Martin Schoel, founder of ChooseHelp.com, envisioned a website that would provide resource information for people looking for help with mental health and addiction problems.  I had been working and publishing in the field since the mid-1980’s and he liked what I had been doing. He asked me if I would consider being a featured expert in their Q&A “Ask the Expert” columns. Here is the result:  http://www.choosehelp.com/profile/TheAndersonMethod . This is my “Expert Page” on their website. My latest Q&A’s are at the bottom of the page. Explore the whole site to see what is there.

I’m glad I said, “Yes”. His website has proved to be a very professionally done work, attracting many professional helpers and many people seeking help so that they can meet on common ground to find each other and accomplish important work. I know that even in it’s early life, ChooseHelp.com has helped many people, mitigated a lot of suffering and promoted a lot of healing. 

I am listed as an expert in depression, anxiety disorders, mental illness, addictions, alcoholism, eating disorders and,  of course, weight loss.  Martin has kept me busy, too busy sometimes, answering the growing avalanche of questions coming in from people needing help and not knowing what to do. He laughed when I said I liked being the “Dear Abby” in this realm. I know what’s it’s like to be sitting by yourself, needing help, and being stuck. To be able to provide the right words, at the right time, to people sitting at their computers and otherwise stuck,  is a blessing. I know that sometimes, sending a text is all people have the energy to do.  In this age, like no other, even that little act can actually get people going in the right direction because of what ChooseHelp.com is doing. It’s a miracle, compared to the days I began working in the field.

Please take a look at what Martin has created: http://www.choosehelp.com/

Is There Such a Thing as Food Addiction?

As one of the featured Mental Health and Addictions experts on www.ChooseHelp.com, I’m frequently asked about such issues as depression, panic disorders, alcoholism and drug addiction. Today, I was asked about addiction to sugar. Right down my alley.

(The author is a psychotherapist who lost 140 lbs. when he discovered Therapeutic Psychogenics,  and he’s kept it off for over 25 years. Read about his method of fast permanent weight loss and the clients who have used them by clicking on the menu above.)

Here is the question that was posed: “Can people really get addicted to sugar? I swear if I try to go a day without sugar I am craving like crazy for it, but I never thought that it was like a real addiction, like cocaine or heroin etc. If it is a real addiction, do you have to give it up to get sugar-sober, like an alcoholic?”

Here’s my answer: Trust your gut on this, food addiction is real and sugar is the worst.

While I have expertise with other mental health issues and all addictions, food addiction and weight control are my specialties, so I’m going to give you a thorough answer.

Food addicts have been telling people about food addiction for years and have been largely rejected by everyone, even addiction “experts”. However, the evidence is in and it is overwhelming. People get addicted to food. Brain imaging scans show that the brain activity that occurs with sugar is the same activity that occurs with cocaine and heroin. The activity that occurs with sugar thoughts and cravings is the same that occurs with cocaine thoughts and cravings. It isn’t your imagination. It is real.

However, even though some people needed pictures of brain activity to be convinced, anyone paying attention to clinical diagnostics and the experience of compulsive overeaters and binge eaters should have seen the obvious ages ago: some people have the same addiction experience with food as you see with addictive drugs.

Here’s the list of criteria that’s used to diagnose substance dependence in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the official publication of the American Psychological Association. Substance Dependence is the clinical term for addiction:

  1. Tolerance, as defined by either of the following: (a) A need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or the desired effect or (b) Markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.
  2. Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following: (a) The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance or (b) The same (or closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  3. The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than intended.
  4. There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use.
  5. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance, use the substance, or recover from its effects.
  6. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use.
  7. The substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance (for example, current cocaine use despite recognition of cocaine-induced depression or continued drinking despite recognition that an ulcer was made worse by alcohol consumption).

One must have three of these things occur in a one-year period to make the diagnosis. Many “foodies” have had more than three of these things for years, continuously. Food addiction is real and it is common. The foods that are most often cited are sugar, salt, and fatty foods. We are prone to get addicted to anything highly pleasurable or palatable.

Now, to the more complex part of your question: Must one abstain totally from the addictive food to solve the problem, as one does with alcohol or cocaine in order to recover?

It’s impossible. Refined sugar would be possible to avoid, but sugar is a naturally occurring nutrient that exists in many foods. You can’t eliminate it completely unless you stop eating all together! Adding to the complexity is that we are hard wired to experience pleasure when we eat, regardless of the food. The pleasure centers of our brain are activated when we eat or do anything that feels good, which is why people get addicted to lots of things like gambling, sex and video games, to name a few, not just drugs. In fact, some people are addicted to food, regardless of what’s in it. It’s not the sugar, salt, or fat. It’s the chewing and swallowing of any food that they are addicted to.

This is why overeating is the trickiest of the addictions to recover from. With drugs, we lock the beast out, but with food, we let it back in every day.

People who have a particularly difficult problem with a particular food (you know what they are) will need to eliminate them from the house and their routine, but that won’t solve the food addiction problem. There will still be problems with other foods. If you eliminate refined sugar, things will be better, but the addiction will remain.

Successful therapy for food addiction targets management, not total abstinence. My successful therapy for permanent weight loss is based on the addiction model, but our goal is not abstaining. It can’t be. Our goal is a managed behavior, and we are successful with a highly structured program of eclectic therapy, more than we can describe here. You can learn more about it at my website, http://www.TheAndersonMethod.com .

In Behavioral Medicine, the traditional way to extinguish addictive substance use behavior is to totally shut down the experience of reward with the substance, to totally abstain.  Then, the flame that drives the addiction dies off. Need, cravings and obsessions die away. That’s why they call it extinguishing. But with food, this is not possible. So with food addiction, another solution is needed. That’s what The Anderson Method is, radically different, a way to change the addiction to overeating to an addiction to healthy eating. Rather than trying to abstain, we are learning a new way to partake.

So the answer is yes, you can be addicted to food. And no, successful recovery is not a matter of abstaining completely, as it is with alcohol and cocaine. It’s more complicated than that. However, you can live with your food addiction, master it, and free yourself from its grip and the weight problems it causes. I was out of control with food and an obese diet failure for 25 years until I found the answer. Then I lost 140 pounds and I’ve maintained my success for over 25 years. Now I teach others. You may be a food addict, but you don’t have to be a slave to the addiction.