The Creation Of Lifestyle Transformation
As we considered starting a program for food addiction/emotional or compulsive eating we considered our best strategy would be start with what we knew worked. Both of us had worked in addictions for a number of years. We had background and experience with obesity and weight loss surgery and the food related issues that are found there. We had experience teaching in university programs and training therapists.
Our work in process addiction treatment included an understanding of Patrick Carnes’ assertion that comprehensive treatment included: Individual therapy, Group therapy, Psychoeducation and a 12 step or similar support group involvement. He also asserted that treatment would take 3-5 years. He further insisted that where there is addiction, there is shame and that must be dealt with for treatment to be effective.
From our university experience and well documented in the literature, the power and efficacy of group treatment is well demonstrated (Yalom; Corey and Corey).
Evidence has come forth in the brain science literature demonstrating the role of neurochemistry in addiction, both from its contribution in maintaining the addictive behavior and the impact of interventions that improve brain functioning. This underscores the importance of healthy nutrition practices, regular and consistent physical activity and exercise, the need for sufficient sleep, and the role of stress on both physiological and emotional damage and healing.
The concepts found in Motivational Interviewing indicate the value of helping the client identify goals, buy into the process, own the responsibility for their treatment, etc. Those are concepts incorporated into the development and utilization of the Plan of Action that is created and implemented in the early weeks of work in the Lifestyle Transformation program.
The success and efficacy of CBT and DBT based strategies contributed to the incorporation of those ideas or consideration of those concepts as the program was created. Our “COR Conditions” for successful or effective treatment and healing also come from established literature and the belief in their value and effectiveness:
- Mindfulness practices
- Emotional and physical benefits of exercise and purposeful activity
- Self-compassion and self-soothing strategies.
- Attachment and the power of connection
Common to addiction treatment is a focus on resistance, relapse, cravings, withdrawal, the cycle of addiction and shame. These were also incorporated into the Lifestyle Transformation program. Addiction treatment also encourages the exploration of “underlying issues” and the role they play in maintaining addictive behavior.
Given the overview, you can see the attempt to incorporate elements into the program that come from established theory and methodology. Our goal is to take a client through a process of change that they support and own as well as to organize the journey in such a way as to build on the growth one step at a time, and continue to expand according to client readiness and receptiveness.
- Mike Roubicek & Stacey Thacker
Lifestyle Transformation Co-Founders