Bulimia Breakthrough – changing the face of Bulimia one client at a time.
Hi, I am Kathy Welter-Nichols and I thought this post may well be useful for those interested in how I work to provide effective help for bulimia, so here are some thoughts and insights into how I work with this issue, and some of the thinking behind what I do.
I had a psychologist from the US attend my Bulimia Breakthrough program….. She came to me, because she had had bulimia for 30 years of her life, and was running an ED clinic in New York, while bulimic herself. She really wanted this gone.
She recovered in 3 days, returned to New York and then the secondary symptoms came up, which can be lying and stealing. She was caught shop lifting in a store creating a huge issue, court appearances, and community time. She then came back to see me we did 2 more days, and those secondary symptoms were gone as well. Her marriage disintegrated for a while, but then that too worked out. Utilizing Hypnosis and NLP we changed her story about who she truly is.
We often miss the secondary issues, because they are so deeply associated to the disorder, and have been facilitating the bulimic behaviors for years. Stealing food from the start, moms, school, friends, stores, and so it’s not really seen as stealing, it’s seen as just my bulimia.
Our stories… what is your story? How often do you tell it? How has it become your definition of who you are, how you cope with life? What is your story and how stuck on it are you?
Help for bulimia. What are the treatment options?
Here in the US & Canada there are massive government grants and lobby’s done for “studies” and methods that are profoundly consumptive in cash flow. Columbia University in New York was granted 20 million for studies of bulimia over 10 years, in an effort to provide credible information for the government.
They are averaging $35,000 a month for intake treatment with a 7 year recovery time line, and a 35- 40% recovery results for the client. I just had an email the other day from an Eating Disorders facility in the USA, now all the insurance providers are jumping in and will cover the costs of treatment IF they utilize their programs in alignment with the pharmaceutical companies. So we have models of treatment utilizing interventions with pharmaceuticals, often taking the already distorted chemistry of the client to all new levels of chaos in brain function. And many of the side effects include weight gains. All this and it gets covered by insurance, with very low recovery rates.
This is where it can get silly and if we can avoid pitting ourselves and our methods against theirs then I believe we can make inroads, helping clients and creating credibility for Hypnosis & NLP in the model of care, and recovery for Eating Disorders and specifically interrupting the patterns of Bulimia
Most media coverage has been on the recovery of film stars with bulimia, and they have used hypnosis in their treatment. In my findings the nature of Bulimia is very different from Anorexia, however, these get lumped together primarily because they are associated in the Eating Disorders genre. Restricting is used in both, but for very different reasons and very different outcomes. I feel the differences are very distinct and I believe we do a disservice to the client when we try to group it under one “umbrella”. The language patterns around eating disorders today seem really harsh when I hear parents and clients repeating what they’ve been told or read. It can be very frightening for parents as they feel their son or daughter slipping away from them a little very day.
There are additional sub-behaviors and symptoms associated with Bulimia, that are not part of Anorexia.
Novelty Seeking, enjoys the attention from others
Compulsive Lying, OCD tendencies
Stealing, manipulative in relationships
Harm avoidance, rigid structure and thinking
Cheating, self loathing, low self esteem
Manipulation of truth
Blaming, self and others
Shame & Guilt , anger and fear
Not viewed as self harm
Low self directedness
Used for Self pleasure, reward system of the brain
Addictive component- using food as a drug
These secondary behaviors in bulimia respond brilliantly with NLP & Hypnosis.
Anorexia has a different template for the client:
Harm avoidance, dissociated, withdrawn from life, focus out of reality, ambivalence, relationships disinterested. Obsessive compulsions, reflective function limited, Rule Bounded, Excessive experiential avoidance.
In Anorexia, it’s a different process with different drivers underneath the behaviors. And we work with them in similar ways, however, we do a disservice, in my view, to say they are the same. The woman with bulimia restricts to drive the chemical reaction through the patterns of planning, waiting and the heightened reward stimulation when they restrict and then binge/purge. The chemical release flooding the neurons in the brain and hitting receptors over the body is the “chemical high” and every client of mine has disclosed this is the big payoff. And it’s the addictive component of bulimia. Many people don’t know about this, and they don’t think it’s very important to the bulimic behavior. It’s everything to the behavior. The payoff is powerful when utilizing the reward system of the brain, in conjunction with the massive release of insulin in the blood stream. Its a high equal to cocaine or even heroin.
With Anorexia there is something completely different driving the starvation. Its brain related as well, and it creates massive distortions about what is real and not real.
Without the Spiritual connection, (a connection to the deeper self), which hypnosis reconnects, beautifully, and the widespread use of medications that disconnect and distort further, often creating even greater dependencies and weight gain. When we are disconnected from our spiritual self, we seek addictive behaviors, as we find that spiritual connection again, we can redirect this old energy and create a cornerstone of strength and self directedness. A new belief in the self and a new trust.
Electric shock treatment –EST: . This was part of one of the presentations as a treatment method at a conference I attended, and was done in the not so distant past but rather in the late 1990’s. And the parents of the patient had to sign for the treatment…”because it would help their daughter”. It was a horrible recount and terrifying to listen to. The patient was permanently remanded to care afterwards. What they thought might help, as a last resort to break what they viewed as manipulative behaviors, finished her permanently. Scared the heck out of me, I can’t wonder that many clients don’t want to have to face the medical systems with this disorder because they just want to throw everything at it. And the client really doesn’t want it gone, even if she says she does…
In many ways this rendition drove me to continue research and work with clients because the recovery rates my clients experience sits around 85% for the client, after 3 days in deep trance, using hypnosis, NLP and proper nutrition . No I can’t guarantee this kind of help for bulimia works for everyone, and I’m very careful with my intake questions because this will disclose for me, the clients potential for recovery. Someone with a low desire to recover is obvious. They are doing it because they have been caught, or they are going to lose someone close to them, or a job if they don’t stop. That’s not a big enough reason to stop.
Correct eating plans – not diets
I found including the food for the client, feeding the brain allows the therapist/practitioner to begin to access more of the deep self. Without it, they brain is already so starved it’s struggling to follow the work. I also ask my clients to “plan” to stop bulimic activity a week before they come to see me and to eat their “norm”. They all have a “good day” eating plan.
They also need to understand that bloated feeling they have will disappear in about 6 months to a year, and to be patient with that. Its water retention in the lower bowel & colon and this does go. I’ve seen my clients after a year or two and they have all shared with me that had been their experience, and just wait it out. It goes!
With Hypnosis & NLP we’re utilizing their own resources to make the changes and shifts, we’re not telling them, …we’re letting their own deep consciousness take the wheel and drive the bus once again. Essentially no one is driving the bus of the bulimic except bulimia. All control has been handed over to the bulimic behaviors, and we’re helping them get it back.
Mindfulness, Meditation & Yoga
An area the psychology model is now bringing to the table is “mindfulness”. They are acknowledging the Ultradian Rhythms of the brain, and how we can work with them, and they are tip toeing closer and closer to this connection …the will, the divine self. Spirit and that doesn’t really fit yet into either the medical or psych models because that was clearly someone else s turf a long time ago.
We’re moving out of the dark ages in all these models, and I believe hypnosis and NLP are the process’s that are doing it. Yoga, Chi Gong, meditation and the incredible connectivity of our world is changing the belief model around what is possible.
Many of my clients are changing up their excessive exercise for Yoga. Yoga contains mindfulness, as well as exercise, and I sincerely recommend the exercise be one that is gentle, and connecting them back to their body instead of Bikram or hot yoga practices which again are forcing the body. Find a Yoga studio that truly understands the path of Yoga. Some of the western practices with Yoga have become…well…westernized.
I also teach every woman I’ve worked with the basis of Meditation and we begin this practice together. They also have a meditation MP3 to use once we are finished our sessions and this can often become the go to place in support of their continued recovery when we are complete.
Using Hypnosis & NLP to provide help for bulimia we make the deep connection, and let the client’s deep consciousness take it from there.
Hypnosis and its continued benefit
Essentially Hypnosis is “The gift that keeps on giving”….and it does. Days, weeks, months later, this is still working and working better and better too, for the person. The deep trance states for a full three day intensive, are so powerful a shift in consciousness, you don’t ever need to go back. And clients don’t.
Three days of deep trance and their brain has re-set itself. We just have to keep them in that long, and feed them small amounts of protein rich foods, six times a day. Blood sugar levels re- balance, brain state moves out of the panic mode, they stop thinking about food…imagine that!
Neuro Toxicity and Sugar – want to do better in your exams? Or an interview? Stop eating Sugar!
Like the other shoe dropping the sugar connection provided the last link. I know parents say, we try, but they get it everywhere…and I suggest parents need to try harder.
Your kids in a room full of different foods will go to fruits and veggies as their first choice. With clients with bulimia I believe they are very close to being insulin resistant and when they hit their teens and start missing meals, eating more sugars, it creates a insulin spike, and neuro toxicity in the brain. clouding thinking, creating a fuzzy brain, and sheer panic around food.
An Insight as to why this might be: . In the 40’s & 50’s scientists figured out how to split the sugar molecule which actually has 12 carbons…it’s glucose and our brains need it to build neuro pathways. When science figured out how to do this creating a residual substance they called Junk Sugar,, or Fructose.
Fructose is the left over waste or junk sugar, and quickly they realized there was an industry use for this. It was cheap, 100 times sweeter than sugar, and addictive, about as addictive as heroin. Read your labels you will see fructose is in just about everything. Yes and Dextrose too! And it doesn’t provide the necessary glucose that has been destroyed, but the brain needs the glucose for development, and so it gets very hungry for it. Your best source is still vegetables and fruit for natural glucose.
So feeding these young women sugar sends their already insulin sensitive body’s into the scream zone. And they don’t know how to get out of it themselves. They don’t even know what’s happening to them, they can’t figure it out, and they slowly sink into the abyss. It’s an addiction. We take them off the sugar, we create new anchors with NLP and collapse the old ones, clean up the diet of all sugars, and they just wake up so fast!
Parents respond with “we got our daughter back”…because previous to this, they were dealing with the addictive monster that bulimia can be. Sugar! Have to have Sugar!
Depression & Bulimia:
We already know that depression responds extremely well to hypnosis, and so is compulsive lying and stealing and many of the other secondary behaviors associated with bulimic behavior. These are all underlying the bulimic patterns. We already know that we can shift addictions like pot and cocaine, smoking and alcohol, binge drinking in a just a few sessions.
Hypnosis, NLP and the differences to talk therapy
When I say to my own colleagues, I have them trance in for three full days of course they know how deeply we’re creating the mind/body/spirit connection, because my colleagues and myself are seeing clients with other problems for one or two sessions to interrupt major conditions and symptoms…Three full days, that’s a lot of deep trance. For the professional in other disciplines they don’t understand this. They think, “three days, that’s insane, we know it takes us 7 years”… so there’s a difference in perception and understanding.
And there’s a difference for people that don’t understand the way deep trance and hypnosis works, never mind the advanced technologies in NLP. Working with the brain in this way, we’re working with the nature of how the brain learns to do things, directing it in other directions completely. So instead of focusing on the “problems” we’re looking at how the client is seeing things, feeling and processing information. Then we help them learn how to do all that differently giving them tools & results they can use. I guess the greatest gift we bring to our clients is that curiosity about how they are doing the things they do, and getting the results they are getting.
Modeling and NLP
One of the greatest gifts of NLP is the training we get in modeling behavior. A client came to see me for a completely different problem, public speaking I think, and she shared she had used bulimia for many years, then just stopped one day! Are you kidding me? How did you do that? Without any help or interruptions from others, she just stopped one day. Just like that. And then I had a second client come in and she had done the same. I know, it blew me away too. With the training in NLP I was able to model what they did to stop and that my friends, is in my bulimia breakthrough program!
We’re all humans if one brain can figure out how to do something and then stop doing that thing, then others that don’t want to do that anymore, can learn too…and I know how they did it.
Using Hypnosis & NLP to provide help for bulimia we’re using the whole brain, all functionality and everything in that persons system is going through a massive shift in consciousness. Oh sure, we’re talking, but we’re not talking to just the conscious mind, which is about 5% of the total self, oh no, we’re talking to all aspects, right down to a cellular level, the whole body /brain & spirit gets that connection.
It works. It’s like they “wake up” right there before your eyes and it’s a beautiful thing to witness. And it’s them, not us; we’re just holding the gateway for them through Hypnosis. Their brain does the rest for them.
What is normal?
Making us all “Normal”, is coming to the end of the line. What is normal? Why do we all have to be measured to be within parameters of each other, otherwise we’re not “normal” and fall outside some imaginary grid?
This is the adjustment we need to make to allow for ADD & ADHD, autism and perhaps understand these brain changes are what we all need to break out of – really very ancient classifications almost held over from the dark ages.
One on One Sessions
I never see clients in groups. Why would you put people wanting to overcome an addiction into a group and lets all talk about it. The itch feeds the compulsion even as I think about it! They just learn from each other, hear each others depressing stories and it makes them even more depressed about their outcomes.
The Indigo’s and the true Empathic nature
Something started to happen for me in the early years of working with bulimic behaviors. I started to notice these women could sense and pick up my feelings even when I wasn’t clear about it myself. One time I’d had an argument with someone, and then went into day two with my client. She suddenly looked at me and said “I feel so angry”. I felt like she’d seen right into me. The key was, it was my energy she was reading not herself and she had internalized it as her own. Another client shared she believed she was bulimic from age 4 because her father punished her and her older sister, but blamed her for the wrong doing, and he was so angry he spanked her. She went into the bathroom and threw up. She thought that’s when she started with bulimia. She said she threw up a lot when she was little.
I’ve started looking for this ‘sensitivity’ in the women I work with, and they are indeed often living in their own world of miss-understanding, and often influenced by their feelings so much it overwhelms them. It’s there in every woman I’ve met, and when I help her find this part of herself, and appreciate how rare and special that is. About 2% of the population is a true Empathic, and then she appreciates how very special she truly is. I also teach her really powerful skills in protecting her energy and how to discern if it’s someone else she is “reading” or if its really her own emotions.
Boundaries and Protection
Living in the real world, it’s tough today. People are not who they say they are, a very sensitive kid growing up in a regular household, she’s managing and coping with a lot of anxiety, if she is Empathic. What about young men who are experiencing this kind of thing and they believe it’s them? Haven’t they heard all their lives, “you are just too sensitive” and they fear judgment and sexual discrimination.
Changing the landscape
To me, there is room for all disciplines now and I especially believe as we have more and more sensitive children and young adult’s; parents, teachers, and peers need to revisit this idea of what Normal is.
It’s coming but its taking time, and really the whole model of Psychology is around 100 years old as a discipline and still heavily steeped in rhetorical reference. They have fought for their acknowledgments and permissions just like any discipline needs to. During the conference, there was a huge debate about calling their clients “clients or patients” and one doctor stood up and pounded the lectern and said “we earned the right to call our clients “patients” and we must not give that up now”
It gave me an idea of just how hard they had to fight for recognition and protect themselves from marginalization as well.
Hypnosis will have to do that too. So has NLP had to do that… It’s the way of our society and of course once you are “in” you don’t want to do anything to rock the boat, and once again be “out”. Hypnosis is “in” because it works, it makes for permanent changes, and its very favorable in how much time it takes to achieve a good outcome.
One chap I worked with for Pure O – Obsessive thoughts, we did 8 sessions over 5 months. 8 one hour sessions. He’d been plagued with these patterns of viewing the world for years. Through medications, doctors, therapists – everything he could find he tried it.
8 sessions of NLP & hypnosis and he had control of his thinking. He had control. Not the thoughts, nor the drugs, nor the therapists or doctors. He had it.
In hypnosis we bring forth a deep respect for the client’s vast psyche that is sitting beside us in the chair, observing and assisting them in the dance to create peace with who they are. It’s the client that is so desperate to be different than they are that I feel we help the most. And we do. Give them peace, presence, acceptance, and forgiveness, whatever it takes so they will grant the same to themselves.
Acceptance, peace with what is, solutions they can implement and continue to use themselves.
A SMART SYSTEM
We are all physically, part of that SMART system. The left brain, conscious self process’s linearly, about 15 thoughts per second, however, the right brain, the deep self, process’s information non-linear, and at a rate of about 80 billion bits of information per second. Now who would you rather let run your show?
Most clients that come to see me, still associate me with that model of medicine, and they are nervous and fearful…just like they are when seeing doctors, and I know that’s the left brain process, wants to control what’s happening, process me slowly so I can control it all…. when they finish the session they are just blown away at how effortless it was, and how great they feel.
Even if there are a lot of tears and emotional release, they benefit from the deep trance state that allows the brain to adjust and shift those previously held trauma’s and bring them into alignment with the life the person is now living.
A Case Study in misconstrued beliefs.
One young woman came to see me. She’d been in a relationship with a young man that beat her. She eventually married him. She used bulimia and felt that was why she deserved the beatings. He broke her arm, shattered the left side of her jaw, dislocated her shoulder, and broke her leg over his knee. Finally after the 8th visit to break up the domestic violence, the police said to her, this is the last time we’ll be back here. She said “you mean you won’t help me again?” They said no “after the 8th visit he usually kills you and there’s nothing we can do to stop him”. She said, soon after that another fight occurred, it was a rainy night and he was drunk and took his motorcycle out and went screaming down the road. The police were at her house later that night and said he’d slammed into the side of a transport tractor and was killed instantly.
She’d survived. Then two years later she came to me to stop bulimia and we cleared up the grief, dealt with the self hatred, and the bitterness, through endless tears, she forgave him, and then herself.
She didn’t need bulimia anymore; it just didn’t make any sense anymore. She went home and lived her life with her grandmother and her mother, and her family. She could now.
Bulimia the protector
We think it’s such a horrible thing bulimia, but within the person using it, it’s a best friend. It’s a go to that is always there. It’s been protecting them from their emotions and feelings and helping them in a way nothing else ever has, for a very long time. And that relationship is entwined through all their relationships and their lives, and many people don’t even know they have it. I often think of the book, Ann of Green Gables, Ann has her friend in the glass. When the moments are dark, this is a place they trust, it’s consistent, it’s always there, and it works.
Controlling the process:
And the left brain, it controls and likes that model better, “gives me time to think”, but that’s just what we want to avoid, as Dr. Bandler, co founder of NLP, put it, your brain is faster than you think…and it is. If you let it.
Taking it personally
We know once an illness or condition establishes in the body for longer than 30 days, our “SMART” system begins to make adjustments and allowances for the condition, or symptom. In other words, the stories start here. We may not like it but the thing is hanging around, and now it’s something I have to live with, but maybe not.
My story and I’m sticking to it
It always amazes me how people tell themselves the stories about how this is happening to them, and they can’t stop or change. I wonder do they not notice there are others here on the planet – that are not fearful of spiders, or snakes, or needles or flying? As a matter of fact there are 1000s’ of people on the planet that do not have these reactions and some people actually like these things. So that means that story they tell themselves, has to be very tightly anchored, distorted, information deleted, and generalized to bring it into one big Button to push when they tell it, so it reminds them to stay in their phobia, in their disorder, and make it theirs, makes it personal….”It’s mine”…
We’re still learning about who we really are, and it’s moving out in front of us at a rapid rate…change is happening so fast. And really why wait? We don’t have to anymore, we don’t have to prescribe to the “reality” or someone’s “reality” this is going to take you 7 years to recover.
I mean once you don’t have something anymore, you don’t need the story either, you can tell yourself a new story and just get on with it. The thing we often believe is the brain is working against us, however, if you really listen to your deeper message, it’s really clear, “This is my story and I’m sticking to it” And sometimes we like to share stories too, family stories. They are just stories too, just don’t make them yours, and don’t take ownership of any story that does not serve you…
Next question, how is the story serving you? It is, just find what it’s doing for you and then you will know how to change it.
As women wake up
This is from a client that changed her story and has a new one to tell…she was really angry, really sad, really feeling broken and beaten down by her past, her life, her mother, it was all there in a sea of pain she could not get herself out of. She didn’t know how and talking about it all just made it so much worse. Even though she thanks me, I tell you I know all I did was create the deep opening for her to communicate with herself and figure it out, and let her deep conscious who is by the way, listening to everything, get it done for her.
Ah, Kathy, I just had the best conversation on skype with my mom thanks to you! I love you! Thank you! And what’s even better, is that I just Skyped Catherine and the first thing she said that I looked so peaceful, so different today! I feel so good Kathy! I feel so light and feel I have so much air in me! Can you believe it? I love you! Thank you! D
And this today:
I always saw this beautiful golden ring glowing around you…. thank you for being my ANGEL! D
I love my work, and love helping women wake up and really love themselves again. After all we can never control what’s going on in the world outside of us, but we all have the ability, skills, tools and self mastery within to move through anything.
The old story goes that we are never given more than we can manage at one time. I believe that. And when you are ready to leave an addiction, a phobia, an anxiety, or depression behind you, this works.
That is what we do in the Bulimia Breakthrough intervention.
I’m in Australia, August 2012, speaking to colleagues and booking clients to help with bulimia. Next year I’m returning teaching colleagues there in 2013, beginning the process of getting all of this material out into the world, so the story of the difficulty in releasing bulimia can become a story none of us needs to tell each other anymore.
After all, bulimia just makes no sense at all.
Kathy Welter-Nichols, part of the Canadian JBW Team, in Vancouver, B.C
To visits the main page on JustBeWell click here – Bulimia Nervosa Help