How willing are you to face discomfort and take risks? Or have you learned that “getting it perfect” is the most important?

Healthy SnackRead this great article reviewing the Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) program and how it helps with “emotional” or binge eating struggles:

“Traditional techniques for tackling the obesity epidemic often don’t take into account the strong drivers of eating: negative emotions, cravings and impulsivity, particularly in the face of highly palatable food,” says University of California, San Francisco, psychology professor Elissa Epel, PhD, who has collaborated with Kristeller on several research studies using MB-EAT. “Mindfulness training gives us more control over these strong drives and makes us more aware of the triggers of overeating that come from outside of us.”

Words to live by…

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MP900178793“Two-thirds of Americans say they are stressed about the future of our nation, including a majority of both Democrats and Republicans, according to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) report Stress in America™: Coping with Change.”


“These additional stressors may be affecting Americans’ health. The percentage of people reporting at least one health symptom because of stress rose from 71 percent to 80 percent over five months. A third of Americans have reported specific symptoms such as headaches (34 percent), feeling overwhelmed (33 percent), feeling nervous or anxious (33 percent) or feeling depressed or sad (32 percent)….”

What are your stress management strategies? Is it time to get a tune-up? Check out these resources available courtesy of the APA, or give me a call to schedule a few sessions of stress management “strength-training.”

As I mentioned in a recent past Facebook posting, I’ll be including the ACE’s (“adverse childhood experiences”) quiz in my standard new client packet in the New Year, so we can work together more effectively to identify all of the factors (past and present) that might be impacting your current health concerns. The good news is that with the rise of trauma-informed care, more providers – medical and behavioral health – are utilizing multi-disciplinary approaches to prevent the occurrence of problems that might arise due to a history of trauma, abuse, or neglect, and to more effectively treat any issues if they do emerge. In addition, psychologists are uniquely posed to help individuals build resilience in the face of adversity.

To obtain your ACE’s score and learn more about the ACE’s study, visit this article. I encourage you to share this information with all of your healthcare team members, as appropriate. And I should point out, while the ACE’s quiz is helpful in identifying risk factors, it does not include a review of the various positive experiences (i.e. loving and attentive family members or teachers, supportive role models) that you might have experienced as well, to offset any past negative events.

Finally, remember that it’s never too late to learn how to connect with others and to engage in more skillful, healthy self-care!

15873209_1494627643905447_933952185795161903_nRead the Winter 2017 Food For Thought newsletter here, with a variety of tips on establishing a mindful eating practice. Free from the Center for Mindful Eating. Learn more, join a free (or low cost) webinar, and become a member, by visiting their Facebook page.

The following statement was released by my local professional association, the Oregon Psychological Association. A Mindful Meal is proud to endorse this statement, and I welcome all community members who are seeking psychotherapy services to my practice.

In light of recent events, the Board of Directors of OPA would like to be clear that we welcome people of all faiths and religious backgrounds irrespective of race, ethnicity, national origin, and immigration status. Additionally, we remain committed to upholding the APA Ethical Guidelines which make clear we must advocate for and protect the civil rights of others. We are steadfast in our commitment to standing with and as people; people of all races, ethnicities, immigration statuses, religions, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, ages, education levels, abilities, and sizes. You are welcome here.

In solidarity,

Dawnn R. McWatters, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist