"Have you thought that talking to someone about life's challenges might help? Face your challenges with helpful psychology, a sympathetic ear and zero judgement."
Call (415) 921-3426
I have a general practice. This means I can be of help with most problems.
Below is a list of issues with which I have expertise to
help you. Depression, anxiety, relationship issues in all kinds of
relationships (spousal, family, work, friends, dating),trauma and
post traumatic stress disorder, disordered eating through out the
life span (eating disorders), self esteem adoption, parenting, grief and loss.
If you are not sure or don't see your problem listed please contact
me and we can talk about it. I may be able to find you a referral if
I don't think I can be of help. I also have an office in Berkeley in
addition to my San Francisco location.
How I Work
Whether suffering from loss, struggling with depression, fighting an
eating disorder, or experiencing distress in relationships, I help
my clients effectively share and work with unresolved emotional pain,
seeking to explore deeper core issues that will allow healing, self
acceptance and change.
We begin with building safety and security in our therapeutic, as well
as real, connection through my attunement and attention to your needs
and emotions. I pay close watch over what occurs between us and in
ourselves, to arrive at the emotional and relational issues that we
need to work with together.The healing occurs because of and within
the therapeutic relationship as we explore issues that have compromised
how you live your life. Through our work together, which includes support,
understanding, genuine, honest feedback and attunement to the deeper core
states of emotions, we will awaken in you old and new capacities allowing
you to be who you are.
I have been providing psychotherapy to adults and adolescents for 20+ years.
My style is non-judgmental, interactive and collaborative. Establishing a warm
and respectful connection makes it less difficult to discuss what you are facing and
allows you to access the strengths you already have.
Working to establish this is my first priority.
NowUKnow: Why Millennials Refuse to Get Married
by Meg Murphy
Today an unprecedented portion of millennials will remain
unmarried through age 40, a recent Urban Institute report
predicted. The marriage rate might drop to 70 percent --
a figure well below rates for boomers (91 percent), late
boomers (87 percent) and Gen Xers (82 percent). And declines
might be even sharper if marriage rates recover slowly, or
not at all, from pre-recession levels, according to the report.
5 facts on love and marriage in America
BY GRETCHEN LIVINGSTON AND ANDREA CAUMONT
Americans may not be embracing the institution of marriage
as they used to, but that doesn't mean they are giving
up on relationships. From online dating, to remarriage,
to cohabitation, here are five facts about the state of
love and marriage in the U.S.
Love remains Americans' top reason to marry.
In a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, 88% of Americans
cited love as a very important reason to get married,
ahead of making a lifelong commitment (81%) and companionship
(76%). Fewer (28%) said financial stability was a very
important reason to marry.
But while financial stability may not be an important reason
to marry, it is an important factor in what people are looking
for in a spouse - especially women who have never married
but say they want to or are not sure if they want to:
78% say finding a spouse or partner with a steady job
would be very important to them. Never-married men,
however, have different priorities. While 46% say
finding a spouse or partner with a steady job is very
important, a larger share (62%) says that finding someone
who shares their ideas about raising children is.
(Seven-in-ten of their female counterparts say the same.)
And as far as what helps people stay married, married
adults say having shared interests (64%) and a satisfying
sexual relationship (61%) are very important to a
successful marriage. More than half (56%) also name
sharing household chores.
Understanding Each Other:
The First Part of the State of The Union Meeting
Kyle Benson // June 15, 2017
How you and your partner fight directly influences how
emotionally connected and passionate your relationship is.
After four decades of research on thousands of couples, Dr.
Gottman noticed that the Masters of relationships fought
differently than the Disasters. The Masters focused on
attuning to each other by seeking to understand before
problem-solving, whereas the Disasters consistently devolved
into the Four Horsemen: criticism, contempt, defensiveness,
To help couples successfully navigate issues like the
Masters instead of the Disasters, Dr. Gottman created
a weekly meeting called "The State of the Union."
Stop Trying to Fix Your Partner's Feelings
Empathy is the willingness to feel with your partner.
To understand their inner world.
This critical skill is part of Dr. Gottman's State of
the Union Meeting and is key to reaching resolution in
conflict conversations. During conflict is also when
empathy is most difficult. To empathize with your
partner when their hurt feelings are a result of
something you said or did without defending yourself
requires skill and practice.
Couples that have mastered empathy tell me "it's like
a light switch has been turned on in their relationship"
and their cycles of conflict drastically change. This is
because partners stop defending their positions and
instead seek to understand each other. They become a
team against the conflict.
The psychology of narcissism - W. Keith Campbell
Narcissism isn't just a personality type that shows up in
advice columns; it's actually a set of traits classified
and studied by psychologists. But what causes it? And can
narcissists improve on their negative traits? W. Keith
Campbell describes the psychology behind the elevated
and sometimes detrimental self-involvement of narcissists.
Lesson by W. Keith Campbell, animation by TOGETHER.
Dealing with Disappointment
Four questions to manage the gap between expectations and reality
Posted Jun 25, 2017
We all deal with disappointments. Maybe it was an online
flirtation that seemed to hold so much promise, or a job
interview that seemed to go really well - and then in the
end, things just didn't work out as we expected - and we
As an emotion, researchers describe it as a form of sadness
- a feeling of loss, an uncomfortable space (or a painful gap)
between our expectations and reality.
When we believe that there's something we must have to be happy
and fulfilled, we can set ourselves up for disappointment.
Though unpleasant, our experiences of disappointment provide
valuable information about our beliefs about ourselves,
other people, and what will make us truly happy.
Next time you feel disappointment, ask yourself these
four questions to get back on track with understanding
yourself and what you truly want.
Number of U.S. adults cohabiting with a partner
continues to rise, especially among those 50 and older
BY RENEE STEPLER2 COMMENTS
Roughly half of cohabiters - those living with an unmarried partner
- are younger than 35. But an increasing number of Americans
ages 50 and older are in cohabiting relationships, according
to a new Pew Research Center analysis of the Current Population
Survey. In fact, cohabiters ages 50 and older represented about
a quarter (23%) of all cohabiting adults in 2016.
Don't lose sleep over sharing your bed with your pet or kids
Researchers review the pros and cons of co-sleeping with animals or children
June 22, 2017
About half of all pet owners share their beds or
bedrooms with their pets. Studies about co-sleeping
are limited to the bedtime arrangements of adults,
or parents and their children. Researchers say that
society regards both human-animal and adult-child
co-sleeping with apprehension. These concerns should
be set aside because both practices have their benefits,
says the lead author of a new study.
JUNE 15, 2017
6 facts about American fathers
BY KIM PARKER AND GRETCHEN LIVINGSTON
Fatherhood in America is changing in important and sometimes
surprising ways. Today, fathers who live with their children
are taking a more active role in caring for them and helping
out around the house. And the ranks of stay-at-home and single
fathers have grown significantly in recent decades. At the
same time, more and more children are growing up without a
father in the home.
Males and eating disorders
One in four individuals with an eating disorder is male and men engage in eating-disordered behaviors nearly as often as women. Ten million American men will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder (of which an equal number of males and females suffer from), or OSFED (other specified feeding or eating disorder).
The prevalence of eating disorders in males is greater than estimated because men are often too stigmatized to seek treatment for what so many people call “women’s problems.” The cultural stigma that is attached to males who struggles with body image and/or nutritional status is very real. The belief that eating disorders are a “female problem,” can be devastating to a man and negatively impact his willingness to seek help.
Body Image Disorders and Abuse of Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids Among Men
Harrison G. Pope Jr, MD1; Jag H. Khalsa, MS, PhD2; Shalender Bhasin, MB, BS3
During the last several decades, the image of the idealized male body in many countries has shifted toward a substantially higher level of muscularity. Bodybuilding competitors, male models, and even children’s action toys (eg, “G.I. Joe”) have become significantly more muscular than their predecessors of the 1960s. Nowadays, young men are constantly exposed to muscular male images on magazine covers, in advertisements, on television, and in movies.
Perhaps as a consequence of these trends, young men have become
increasingly concerned with their muscularity, reflected by an
increasing prevalence of “muscle dysmorphia,” a form of body image
disorder characterized by an obsessive preoccupation with a muscular
appearance.1,2 First described in the scientific literature less than
25 years ago, muscle dysmorphia has now become the subject of numerous
reports and has been included as an official diagnosis in the American
Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).2
Parents' use of emotional feeding
increases emotional eating in school-age children
click here to read the full report
April 25, 2017
Society for Research in Child Development
Emotional eating is not uncommon in children and adolescents,
but why youth eat emotionally has been unclear. Now a new longitudinal
study from Norway has found that school-age children whose
parents fed them more to soothe their negative feelings were
more likely to eat emotionally later on. The reverse was also
found to be the case, with parents of children who were more
easily soothed by food being more likely to feed them for emotional reasons.
but the mechanism may not
be purely psychological, research in mice suggests. A study
has found that stressed mouse mothers were more likely to give
birth to pups that would go on to exhibit binge-eating-like
behavior later in life. The pups from stressed mothers shared
epigenetic tags on their DNA, but these markers only made a
difference when the researchers put the young offspring into
a stressful situation.
Stress changes our eating habits, but the mechanism may not be
purely psychological, research in mice suggests. A study published
May 30 in Cell Metabolism found that stressed mouse mothers were more
likely to give birth to pups that would go on to exhibit binge-eating-like
behavior later in life. The female mouse pups from stressed mothers
shared epigenetic tags on their DNA, but these epigenetic markers only
made a difference when the researchers put the young offspring into
a stressful situation. Furthermore, the researchers were able to prevent
their binge eating by putting the young mice on a diet with "balanced"
levels of nutrients such as Vitamin B12 and folate.
NowUKnow: Why Millennials Refuse to Get Married
by Meg Murphy Bentley University
Millennials are saying no to traditional marriage in record numbersâ€¦and
thatâ€™s not all. In Western culture in the late 18th century, marriage
transformed from an economic arrangement into a union based on love.
Now it may again be heading toward radical change.
Marriage Rates Are Plummeting
The median age at first marriage is now 27 for women and 29 for men
â€” up from 20 for women and 23 for men in 1960.
The median age at first marriage is now 27 for women and 29 for men
Today an unprecedented portion of millennials will remain unmarried
through age 40, a recent Urban Institute report predicted. The marriage
rate might drop to 70 percent -- a figure well below rates for boomers
(91 percent), late boomers (87 percent) and Gen Xers (82 percent).
And declines might be even sharper if marriage rates recover slowly,
or not at all, from pre-recession levels, according to the report.
Traditional marriage has been on a downward trajectory for generations,
but with this group it appears to be in free fall. According to a report
released last month by the Pew Research Center, 25 percent of millennials
are likely to never be married. That would be the highest share in modern history.
The Impact of Not Getting Married
Boston Globe columnist Tom Keane says this trend could be cause for alarm.
"Millennials, reject timely marriage at your own risk," warns his column.
â€śNot getting married at all could prove tragic,â€ť said Keane, reviewing
the economic and social benefits of marriage. Marriage patterns will continue
to diverge by education and race, increasing the divides between mostly married
â€śhavesâ€ť and increasingly single â€śhave-nots,â€ť predicted an internal analysis
of the Urban Institute report. Tax rates, eligibility for entitlement programs,
and the availability of social safety nets are all altered by marital status,
it said. Current marriage trends will make it challenging to develop policies
that efficiently target the needs of the growing number of unmarried poor, it said.
â€śTo me, there are so many things that encourage people to marry for financial
reasons," said Steven Weisman, a lawyer who teaches a class on "Marriage,
Separation and Divorce" class at Bentley University, in a Baltimore Sun article.
From Social Security to income taxes, married couples benefit economically. Click here for the
More than a million Millennials
are becoming moms each year
BY GRETCHEN LIVINGSTON Pew Research Center
Some 1.3 million Millennial women gave birth for the first time in 2015,
according to recently released data from the National Center for Health
Statistics, raising the total number of U.S. women in this generation who
have become mothers to more than 16 million.
All told, Millennial women (those born from 1981 to 1997) accounted for
about eight-in-ten (82%) U.S. births in 2015. At the same time, Millennials
make up 31% of the adult U.S. population, and just over a third (34%) of
the U.S. workforce.
While they now account for the vast majority of annual U.S. births,
Millennial women are waiting longer to become parents than prior generations
did. Among Millennial women ages 18 to 33 in 2014, for instance, 42%
were moms. But when women from Generation X â€“ those born between 1965
and 1980 â€“ were in the same age range, 49% were already moms, according to
a Pew Research Center analysis of the Census Bureauâ€™s Current Population
Survey data. (The rising age at first birth is hardly limited to the Millennial
generation. It has been a trend since at least 1970. Many factors may contribute,
including a shift away from marriage, increasing educational attainment and the
movement of women into the labor force.)
While Millennials may be delaying parenthood, itâ€™s not for a lack of interest
in eventually becoming moms and dads. Members of this generation rated being a
good parent as a top priority in a 2010 Pew Research Center survey. Some 52%
said it was one of the most important goals in their lives, well ahead of having
a successful marriage, which 30% said was one of their most important lifetime goals.
Regardless of which generation they belong to, parents say having children is
central to their identity. Among Millennials, six-in-ten (60%) said that being
a parent is extremely important to their overall identity, according to a 2015
Pew Research Center survey. A similar share of Gen X parents said as much (58%),
as did a slightly smaller share (51%) of Baby Boomers with children younger than 18.
OdonataWellness/Pexels Five Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good Relationship
By Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.
on January 24, 2017 In Fulfillment at Any Age
Relationships that seem to be going well may, without your knowledge, be
in trouble. New research on narcissism in relationships shows how to avoid
the 5 most common traps.
You believe that your close relationship with your partner is a happy one,
and that your partner is as content as you are. Or perhaps thereâ€™s a
coworker with whom youâ€™ve always gotten along well, and you feel safe
in the knowledge that thereâ€™s a groundwork in mutual trust. However,
what if things arenâ€™t really going that well? What if youâ€™ve been doing
something that drives your relationship partner or coworker absolutely
nuts? Maybe that relationship isnâ€™t as secure as you believe it to be
after all. Perhaps all of us have somewhat of a blind eye to our flaws
and therefore donâ€™t realize that the eyes of our nearest and dearest arenâ€™t
that blind. New research on people high in narcissistic traits shows just
how off-base our perceptions can be of the quality of these relationships.
According to Albright Collegeâ€™s Gwendolyn Seidman (2016), most people value
warmth and loyaltyâ€”the intrinsic qualities to a relationshipâ€”than the status,
attractiveness or even passion of their partnersâ€”the extrinsic qualities.
Warmth and loyalty are the qualities you can only find in certain specific
people, and they are at the core of the relationship. Status, attractiveness
and passion are qualities that are interchangeable among partners.
They do not represent the unique qualities of that person or persons you
care about the most. If these extrinsic qualities are what you seek, then
youâ€™ll be less likely to see your partner, coworkers, or friends for what
they and they alone can bring to the relationship.
What can happen when you believe your relationship to be on an even keel
when itâ€™s not is that you inadvertently fail to connect with the intrinsic
features of the other person in the relationship. You get distracted by the
superficial features of the relationship, such as whether your partner is
attractive or fun enough for you. You forget what drew you to your partner
in the first place. Itâ€™s also possible that you take for granted the very
qualities that form a bond between you and your partner. At that point,
you are on your way to ruining a perfectly good relationship without
intending to do so.
How to Listen with All Four of Your Ears
New research shows how to get your ears to listen
through all their channels.
Posted Jan 17, 2017 Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.
Your communication to others may depend on which message
you're hoping they receive.
When we think about communication, we generally divide it
into two categories-verbal and nonverbal behavior. But, according
to the "four ear" model of communication, we speak and listen
through four separate channels. The question is, when you
communicate through one of those channels, what will your
listener hear? A new study that used behavioral neuroscience
to investigate the factors that influence how your message
is received focused on the role of the hormonal neurotransmitter,
oxytocin. Although it's based in neuroscience, this study provides
an understanding of how to make sure your listeners actually
hear what you want them to hear.
University of Munich's Michaela Pfundmair and colleagues (2016) based
their work on the four-ear model theory, which proposes that each
verbal message contains four different dimensions of communication:
Is This the Surprising Way Couples Will Become Less Insular?
By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on January 18, 2017 in Living Single
The community that was creating and honoring "families of choice"
long before the concept became broadly familiar may be the
one to transform coupling.
There was a time when couples were not so enmeshed. In my parents'
generation, my mother could spend time with her siblings and friends,
and my father with his work buddies, without either thinking that the
time they spent in their own social circles constituted any sort of
threat to their marriage.
Then, perhaps as an odd byproduct of growing equality between the sexes,
couples began looking to each other to fulfill just about all their emotional,
interpersonal, and practical needs. In my book Singled Out, I called them
Sex and Everything Else Partners, or "seepies"-"the twosomes who look to each
other for companionship, intimacy, caring, friendship, advice, the sharing of
the tasks and finances of household and family, and just about everything else.
They are the repositories for each other's hopes and dreams. They are each
other's soul mates and sole mates."
52 Ways to Show I Love You - #4 Listening
Careful attention to more than the words of a message promotes intimacy
Posted Jan 22, 2017 Roni Beth Tower Ph.D., ABPP Roni Beth Tower Ph.D., ABPP
This morning my husband and I had one of our rare fights. He asked me
if I had seen anything interesting during my online skim of The New
York Times morning headlines. I began to describe my reaction to
an Op-Ed piece written by Alexa O'Brien about Amazon's use of the helper
technology that shares her name, a reference to the Greek goddess who defends
and protects. I was explaining what Ms. O'Brien had written, along with
how and why I had reacted to it. David interrupted me, eager to show what
he thought he understood about what I was talking about. His motivation
was pure - he was excited to engage in dialogue. Today's electronically-mediated
conversation had left him feeling cut off from real-life up-and-back with
people whose body language he could reliably translate. Most of all,
he wanted to re-establish contact with me, his beloved wife, and to show
me that he was available to share a bit of worldly news or opinion.
(See last week's post on Sharing as a way of showing love.)
In his eagerness, however, he failed to take the time to listen to what
I was actually saying. His need to contribute, to show me that he was
paying attention, and to engage, cut off the very exchange that I was
trying to initiate. In the Introduction to this year-long series of posts,
I described how critical to the happiness and longevity of a relationship
appreciation for each other's priorities and perspectives is. The easiest
way I know to develop that appreciation is through listening to what the
other is communicating, how it is being transmitted, and why the messages
are being sent. Decoding a partner's style by asking these questions can
go a long way to helping each other treasure both similarities and differences
that define how much of the other is permitted into the relationship.
The more complete people can be to each other, the more love can flow freely
Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D.
12 Tips For Happy, Long-Lasting Relationships
Research-based strategies for healthy romance.
Posted Jan 18, 2017
Have you ever made silly mistakes that ruined great relationships?
I can't be the only one, can I? Well, since then, I've read a lot
more about the science on how to have happy and long-lasting
relationships, whether with romantic partners or family and friends.
My wife and I have been together for 18 years, over half my life,
and I have a wonderful circle of close friends. I want to share
these science-based tips with you to help you avoid those silly
mistakes and help your relationships flourish!
1. Be intentional.
Be intentional and figure out the truth about your relationship.
Think through all aspects of your relationship-your feelings and thoughts,
the other person's feelings and thoughts, and the external context.
If you notice yourself flinching away from a certain aspect of reality,
this is the time to double down your focus and really get at the truth.
The things you flinch away from, the truths you don't want to acknowledge
to yourself, are likely to be the ones that will most undermine your
relationship in the future. It's better to face the truth squarely in
the face right now and address it rather than let it sabotage your
relationship in the long run.
2. Avoid failing at their mind.
One of the biggest dangers in close relationships is assuming the other person
is exactly the same as you in their feelings and thoughts, and thus failing at
their mind. This is something that's so easy to flinch away from, as our emotional
self just doesn't want to accept that the person we're so close to is actually
different from us-sometimes very different. I know I made this mistake, and it
cost me dearly in the past. So how to avoid it?
3. Use Tell Culture.
Use Tell Culture! Tell Culture is a communication strategy where you are open
and honest with close people in your life about your feelings and thoughts,
about what's going on with you, lowering your private barrier and being vulnerable
and authentic. Tell them information about yourself that you think they would
want to know. For example, if you want a hug, you should tell the other person
that you would enjoy a hug. However, for Tell Culture to work, it's really
important for you not to expect that the other person will hug you.
You are responsible for telling them about your needs and desires, and
they are then free to act as they choose based on their own needs and desires.
In Teens, Strong Friendships May Mitigate Depression
Associated With Excessive Video Gaming, Johns Hopkins
Bloomberg School of Public Health, Date:
January 12, 2017
Teenagers who play video games for more than four hours
a day suffer from symptoms of depression, but frequent
use of social media and instant messaging may mitigate
symptoms of game addiction in these teens, new research suggests.
The findings, scheduled for publication in the March 2017
issue of the journal Computers in Human Behavior, suggest
that while heavy gaming, particularly in boys, can be viewed
as a warning signal for parents, not everyone who plays many
hours a day is at risk for developing problems related to gaming.
Some of the downsides of gaming, the researchers say, may be
balanced out in those who are socially engaged either online
or in real life with friends. In fact, the researchers say,
boys with high-quality friendships appear immune from the depression
associated with heavy use of video games.
Online dating booming but how much does education matter
Online daters are most likely to contact people with the same
level of education as them, but are less fussy about an
intellectual match as they get older, according to QUT research.
January 12, 2017
Queensland University of Technology
Online daters are most likely to contact people with the same
level of education as them, but are less fussy about an
intellectual match as they get older, according to new research.
This finding was revealed in a study titled: 'Things change
with age: Educational Assortment in online dating', conducted
by QUT behavioural economists Stephen Whyte and Professor
The comprehensive study analysed the online dating interactions
of more than 41,000 Australians aged between 18-80, with the
findings now published by leading international journal Personality
and Individual Differences.
Their research is the largest ever behavioural economic analysis
of Australian online dating behaviour, with this body of work
reviewing 219,013 participant contacts by 41,936 members of
online dating website RSVP during a four-month period in 2016.
"Selecting a mate can be one of the largest psychological and
economic decisions a person can make and has long been the
subject of social science research across a range of disciplines,
all of which acknowledge one phenomenon: positive assortative
mating behaviour (homogamy)," Mr Whyte said.
Traditionally humans look for certain characteristics and traits
in a partner, including symmetry in areas such as: age, aesthetics,
attractiveness, personality, culture, education, religion and race;
however the internet has dramatically altered this process.
Out in the cold: Why are the oldest people the most excluded?
January 4, 2017
University of Lincoln
People over the age of 85 are significantly more likely to suffer
social exclusion than those in the 65 to 84-year-old bracket,
according to new research. In a study of 10,000 people aged over 65,
social policy researchers found the 'oldest old' -- those 85 and over
-- have more trouble accessing services such as healthcare and food shops,
with 16 percent reporting 'significant' problems, compared with only four
percent of their younger counterparts.
THE GOTTMAN RELATIONSHIP BLOG
STAYING CONNECTED WITH YOUR TEEN IN
AN AGE OF DISTRACTION
Julia and Tim are sitting in my office, discussing their 14 year
old son. Jared, a once spunky and engaging middle schooler, has
morphed into a sullen and argumentative teen. "It's like it
happened overnight," Julia explains.
Once a kid who loved to hang out with the family, Jared spends
hours alone in his room. His phone is never far from sight.
"Even when he's in the room with us, he's not really there," adds Tim.
Like many parents, Julia and Tim feel they are at the mercy of
their teenager's moods and struggle to maintain a positive
connection with their son who seems hell bent on shutting them out.
It turns out that their experience is common. In a 1996 study of
220 tweens and teens between 5th and 12th grade, the proportion
of waking hours that those kids spent with their families dropped
from 35% to 14%.
Dr. Laura Hill specializes in the education and
research of eating disorders. She gives a wonderful
presentation about the subject in this video.
Calm, pleasure and satisfaction is what most people
experience after eating. But for people with eating
disorders, food brings anxiety, disturbance and noise.
Dr. Hill takes a look from the inside out from the "sound"
to the biology of these diseases and how the future holds a
different approach to manage the illness while bringing
these patients hope.
Use of yoga in outpatient eating disorder treatment:
a pilot study.
Allison Hall, Nana Ama Ofei-Tenkorang, Jason T. Machan
and Catherine M. GordonEmail author
Journal of Eating Disorders2016
Yoga practice combined with outpatient eating disorder
treatment were shown to decrease anxiety, depression,
and body image disturbance without negatively impacting
weight. These preliminary results suggest yoga to be a
promising adjunct treatment strategy, along with standard
multidisciplinary care. However, whether yoga should be
endorsed as a standard component of outpatient eating
disorder treatment merits further study.
Research Reveals Help for Eating Disorder Patients
Jan. 6, 2017
January 6, 2017
More people are dying from eating disorders than any
other psychiatric disorder, and professor has discovered
a way to help women by significantly reducing eating
disorder symptoms in those who are struggling.
"Our intervention encourages women to criticize media
messages which teach women and girls that we must be
thin to be considered beautiful," said Green. "We also
teach women and girls how to combat societal messages
which teach us to define our worth in terms of our appearances."
Brains of those with anorexia, bulimia can override urge to eat
November 8, 2016
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Scientists have discovered the neurological reasons why
those with anorexia and bulimia nervosa are able to
override the urge to eat.
In a study published in the journal Translational Psychiatry,
the researchers showed that normal patterns of appetite
stimulation in the brain are effectively reversed in those
with eating disorders.
Rather than the hypothalamus, a brain region that regulates
appetite, driving motivation to eat, signals from other parts
of the brain can override the hypothalamus in eating disorders.
Scientists are uncovering the faulty neurobiology behind anorexia
and bulimia, debunking the myth that such eating disorders are
solely driven by culture and environment.
By Kirsten Weir
April 2016, Vol 47, No. 4
Public misunderstanding of mental health disorders is nothing
new. But for eating disorders in particular, misinformation abounds.
"You still read more about anorexia in the celebrity section of
publications than in health sections," says Nancy Zucker, PhD,
a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University.
"The emphasis is on it being a culturally guided phenomenon."
Even medical definitions of eating disorders have often focused
on external factors, including cultural pressures, parents' attitudes
toward weight and diet, and stressful or traumatic events that might
trigger disordered eating habits. While the environment certainly
plays a part in shaping the behaviors, evidence is mounting that
eating disorders begin in the brain.
Hormones that are released during hunger affect decision making
May 9, 2016
University of Gothenburg
Never make a decision when you are hungry. The hormone ghrelin
- that is released before meals and known to increase appetite
- has a negative effect on both decision making and impulse control,
October 26, 2016
Boston University Medical Center
Researchers have identified a gene (CYFIP2) associated with binge eating.
This finding represents one of the first examples of a genome-wide
significant genetic factor to be identified for binge eating in model
organisms or humans. These findings could potentially lead to treatments
targeted to normalize eating behaviors.
This finding represents one of the first examples of a genome-wide
significant genetic factor to be identified for binge eating in
model organisms or humans. In addition, the researchers discovered
a network of downregulated genes involved in myelination
(the process of forming a sheath around a nerve fiber to allow
nerve impulses to move quickly) that also was associated with
Perceived obesity causes lower body satisfaction
for women than men, study shows
October 11, 2016
University of York
'Owning' an obese body produces significantly lower body
satisfaction for females than males, scientists have found.
In the first study of its kind investigating healthy individuals
and their brain activity when perceiving themselves as either
slim or obese, psychologists found that the way we perceive
our bodies directly triggers neural responses which can lead
to body dissatisfaction.
These findings, which appear online in the journal Biological
Psychiatry, could potentially lead to treatments targeted to
normalize eating behaviors.
Eating disorder prevention program
reduces brain reward region response to
Change your attitude. Change your behavior. Change your brain.
Discussing the costs of pursuing the unrealistic thin beauty
ideal reduces valuation of this idea.
Scientists at Oregon Research Institute (ORI) have published
unique research results indicating that a brief dissonance-based
eating disorder prevention program (Body Project) alters how young
women's brains respond to images of thin supermodels. Previous
results from Body Project studies showed that the intervention
reduces pursuit of the unrealistic thin ideal espoused in the mass media.
The current study provides the first evidence that it fundamentally
alters how young women's brains response to supermodels, which play
a vital role in perpetuating this unattainable beauty idea.
Whole brain imaging before and after the intervention revealed
significant changes in brain responsivity when participants viewed
images of supermodels. This is the first study to use objective
brain imaging to detect the neural effects of a behavioral prevention
MNT Knowledge Center
Adapted Media Release
Published: Tuesday 24 November 2015
The fatter we are, the more our body appears to produce a protein that
inhibits our ability to burn fat, suggests new research published in the
journal Nature Communication. The findings may have implications for the
treatment of obesity and other metabolic diseases.
Most of the fat cells in the body act to store excess energy and release
it when needed but some types of fat cells, known as brown adipocytes,
function primarily for a process known as thermogenesis, which generates
heat to keep us warm. However, an international team of researchers from
the Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Institute of Metabolic Sciences
at the University of Cambridge, UK, and Toho University, Japan, have shown
that a protein found in the body, known as sLR11, acts to suppress this process.
Researchers investigated why mice that lacked the gene for the production of
this protein were far more resistant to weight gain. All mice - and, in fact,
humans - increase their metabolic rate slightly when switched from a lower
calorie diet to a higher calorie diet, but mice lacking the gene responded
with a much greater increase, meaning that they were able to burn calories faster.
Further examinations revealed that in these mice, genes normally associated with
brown adipose tissue were more active in white adipose tissue (which normally
stores fat for energy release). In line with this observation, the mice themselves
were indeed more thermogenic and had increased energy expenditure, particularly
following high fat diet feeding.
Study finds surprising links between bullying and eating disorders
Pediatrics / Children's Health
Anxiety / Stress
Being bullied in childhood has been associated with increased
risk for anxiety, depression and even eating disorders. But
according to new research, it's not only the victims who could
be at risk psychologically, but also the bullies themselves.
Researchers at Duke Medicine and the University of North Carolina
School of Medicine were surprised to find that in a study of 1,420
children, those who bullied others were twice as likely to display
symptoms of bulimia, such as bingeing and purging, when compared to
children who are not involved in bullying. The findings are published
in the December issue of International Journal of Eating Disorders.
"For a long time, there's been this story about bullies that they're
a little more hale and hearty," said lead author William Copeland, Ph.D.,
associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke
University School of Medicine. "Maybe they're good at manipulating social
situations or getting out of trouble, but in this one area it seems
that's not the case at all. Maybe teasing others may sensitize them
to their own body image issues, or afterward, they have regret for
their actions that results in these symptoms like binge eating followed
by purging or excess exercise."
The findings come from an analysis of interviews from the Great
Smoky Mountains Study, a database with more than two decades of
health information on participants who enrolled at age 9. The
data is considered a community sample and not representative of
the U.S. population, but offers clues to how children ages 9 to 16
could be affected.
MNT Knowledge Center
Adapted Media Release
Published: Mon 16 November 2015 at 12am PST
Women with apple-shaped bodies - those who store more of
their fat in their trunk and abdominal regions - may be at
particular risk for the development of eating episodes during
which they experience a sense of "loss of control," according
to a new study from Drexel University. The study also found
that women with greater fat stores in their midsections reported
being less satisfied with their bodies, which may contribute to
This study marks the first investigation of the connections between
fat distribution, body image disturbance and the development of disordered
"Eating disorders that are detected early are much more likely to be
successfully treated. Although existing eating disorder risk models
comprehensively address psychological factors, we know of very few
biologically-based factors that help us predict who may be more likely
to develop eating disorder behaviors," said lead author Laura Berner,
PhD, who completed the research while pursuing a doctoral degree at Drexel.
"Our preliminary findings reveal that centralized fat distribution may be
an important risk factor for the development of eating disturbance,
specifically for loss-of-control eating," said Berner. "This suggests
that targeting individuals who store more of their fat in the midsection
and adapting psychological interventions to focus specifically on body
fat distribution could be beneficial for preventing eating disorders."
The study, titled "Examination of Central Body Fat Deposition as a Risk
Factor for Loss-of-Control Eating," was published in the American Journal
of Clinical Nutrition.
Berner is now a postdoctoral research fellow at the Eating Disorders
Center for Treatment and Research at UC San Diego Health. Michael R.
Lowe, PhD, a professor in Drexel's College of Arts and Sciences, was
a co-author, along with Danielle Arigo, PhD, who was a postdoctoral
research fellow at Drexel and is now an assistant professor of psychology
at the University of Scranton; Laurel Mayer, MD, associate professor of
clinical psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and
Surgeons and the New York State Psychiatric Institute,; and David B. Sarwer,
PhD, professor of psychology in Psychiatry and Surgery at the Perelman
School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania as well as director
of clinical services at the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders.
Mounting evidence suggests that experiencing a sense of loss-of-control during eating
- feeling driven or compelled to keep eating or that stopping once one has started
is difficult - is the most significant element of binge-eating episodes regardless
of how much food is consumed, according to the researchers.
Dartmouth researchers studying rats have discovered that activation
of designer neural receptors can suppress cravings in a brain region
involved in triggering those cravings.
The study is the first to systematically show how designer brain
receptors and designer drugs work together to change how cues for
food stimulate motivation. The findings, which may help scientists
to fight addiction, overeating and other habitual behavior in humans,
appear in the European Journal of Neuroscience.
In everyday life, we are bombarded with advertisements, or cues,
that garner our attention and trigger us into purchasing products,
or rewards. Consequently, these reward-paired cues can become attractive
themselves. For example McDonald's golden arches can produce cravings
for fast food even though you haven't seen the food or aren't even hungry.
Scientists study this phenomenon using sign-tracking, or autoshaping, an
experimental conditioning in which the reward is given regardless of the
"Although we have a sense of what brain circuits mediate reward, less
is known about the neural circuitry underlying the transfer of value
to cues associated with rewards," says lead author Stephen Chang, a
postdoctoral fellow. "We were primarily interested in whether the ventral
pallidum, a brain region implicated in processing reward, is also
involved in sign-tracking."
Previously, it was impossible to inactivate brain areas like this repeatedly
and temporarily to study how cues become valuable in themselves. But it
is now possible with a new technology called DREADDs (designer receptors
exclusively activated by designer drugs). Your brain cells are loaded with
natural receptors, or molecules like jigsaw puzzles that are activated when
another molecule arrives that fits like a missing piece. But DREADDs are
engineered receptors introduced into neurons using viruses. Injection of a
synthetic drug can activate these receptors, thus shutting down the neurons
as a sort of remote control.