Redeemer Counseling Newsletter

Counseling Someone with Food Addiction

One of the many indicators that a new year is upon us is the increase of commercials for diet programs, food delivery services and exercise equipment. “New Year” resolutions often include a desire to start new eating habits.  And this might be especially true this year as we are recovering from the effects of a pandemic that have often included the “Covid 15” weight gain. And as the World Health Organization has reported, “Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with more than 1 billion adults overweight”.

As a counselor, I am constantly faced with clients struggling with addiction, and similar to other addictions, food addiction involves the interaction of chemicals in the brain in addition to a person's emotional and cognitive processes. Along with treating the effects of addiction on the body and behaviors, of utmost importance in treating addiction is the foundational belief from a 12-Step recovery approach that addiction is primarily a spiritual disease (Big Book of AA). The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) outlines a process of turning toward God and depending on God instead of substances or “self”.  And there lies the connection between AA's food addiction recovery and Redeemer Counseling's Gospel-centered Integrated Framework for Therapy (GIFT). GIFT as an approach would explore food addiction as a strategy or an idol that a person utilizes instead of turning to God for comfort and especially instead of turning to God as the ultimate source of identity and fulfillment. This month's tool will provide a basic overview and treatment of food addiction in terms of the AA and GIFT approaches.


Kate Glerup, PhD, LMHC
Clinical Supervisor and Counselor