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What’s the Best Guided Meditation to Use for an Eating Disorder?

11 Aug

I am wondering whether the "Alcohol and Other Drugs" imagery might be appropriate for me to use for help with an eating disorder, since it can also be an addictive behavior.  I'd be grateful if someone could send their opinion on this - thanks!


Hello, Hilary.

That's a great question.  Of course, you're right - an eating disorder falls under the general umbrella category of addictions/compulsions, and the Alcohol and Other Drugs imagery wouldn't be a bad choice.
But, believe it or not, the better one to listen to - even if you're talking about anorexia - is our Weight Loss imagery, which is actually about achieving a healthy weight, learning to love and appreciate your body again, releasing harsh internal judgments about being "perfect" (whatever the heck that means), learning how to relax and self-soothe when anxiety starts to kick in and drive your behavior to all the old, unhelpful reactions, and feeling energized and focused on doing what you were born to do.

So even when someone with anorexia or bulimia gets this audio for all the wrong reasons, (I'm not thin enough! Gotta lose this hideous weight! I look disgusting! etc, etc) it perversely helps in all the right ways.
But this program does have imagery designed to pump up a sluggish metabolism and boost the body's natural ability to convert unessential fat into energy, so you may not need those aspects of this  recording.  You may be too thin already.

I'd still use it - the benefits are powerful for someone with an eating disorder, and it won’t take away weight your body needs.

But here's some very good news:  our wonderful psychologist/hypnotherapist/health educator, Traci Stein, is creating a new set of guided meditations specifically for people with eating disorders who are looking to achieve a Healthy Weight and Body Image.  Her work is terrific - we've gotten nothing but delighted and enthusiastic feedback from those who've listened to her programs.  They're psychologically sophisticated and extremely sensitive to the vulnerabilities of the listener. We’re proud to be producing them.

In fact, I think it's safe to say that people who like my work are consistently nuts about Traci’s.  So stay tuned for that one - I've read the script and it's just right for eating disorders.
In the meantime, you'll do well to work with the Weight Loss imagery, and then, when Traci's is done (it will take a few months), you can alternate or just use hers alone.
Hope this is a help.  Let me know how it goes.

All best,

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award