Emotional Eating - Dr. Judith Zackson


Emotional eating is about turning to food for comfort, stress relief, or as a ‘reward.’ Rather than satisfying hunger, it is an attempt to satisfy some emotional need. Unfortunately, however, emotional eating does not fix the underlying emotional issue, but instead often makes a person feel worse. Emotional hunger can’t be filled with food.

Although eating may feel good and provide comfort in the moment, the feelings that triggered the eating are still there. And not only does the original emotional problem remain; you also feel guilty and down on yourself about overeating and not having had the willpower to prevent it.

Psychotherapy can help you learn about the ways in which you may use food in this manner, identify triggers for overeating, and ultimately break free from food cravings and habits that have sabotaged past diets and attempts to control emotional eating.


Because emotional eating so often becomes a habit, rather than a conscious choice, psychotherapy involves examining and helping to change the entire cycle of emotional eating: using food to feed emotional hunger, guilt and pain, efforts to stop, and failure to do so.

Dr. Zackson brings a fresh perspective to the understanding and treatment of emotional eating. She can help you identify why you turn to food, and to make sense of behaviors that may otherwise seem irrational. The goal is to break out of the cycle. In therapy, there is no “right” or “wrong,” or “good” or “bad.” We work together to see the world as you see it, to understand how you have been trying to help yourself, and find ways to help you feel nourished and not starved. Through a holistic approach that takes into account psychological, hormonal, physical, and cultural issues, we will try to understand how your emotional eating patterns came to be, and how to replace them with healthier patterns. This is the key to genuine and long-lasting recovery.

Dr. Zackson is passionate about this issue and brings a fresh perspective to understanding and treating emotional eating. Her personal experience with disordered eating gives her a unique understanding of what it’s like to struggle with this issue, and she knows that recovery is possible. She offers empathy and understanding, as well as professional and clinical expertise.


Potential Skills That You Will Learn In Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy:
  • Distress Tolerance
  • Emotion Regulation
  • Attention Regulation
  • Body Awareness
  • Relaxation
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Self-Acceptance
  • Patience
Potential Benefits Of Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy:
  • Increased Self-Compassion
  • Unraveling Of Old Patterns
  • Improved Relationships
  • Higher Levels Of Responsibility
  • Greater Experience Of Control
  • Increased Clarity Of Mind
  • Reduced Stress, Tension, Or Physical Pain
  • Reduced Symptomatology Of Depression And Anxiety