The psychology of eating disorders is poorly understood. Recent trends in research and treatment focus near-exclusively on behaviors around food and weight without sufficiently attending to their psychic undercurrents. Yet evidence shows that, when patients start putting words to the pain their eating disorders express, they start gaining freedom from these vexing patterns. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is well positioned to offer individuals such an opportunity, and the rationale for such an approach is well-described in Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin’s new book, Food for Thought: Perspectives on Eating Disorders (2017, Rowman & Littlefield). In her book, Dr. Nina—as she likes to be called—explains psychoanalysis’s unique perspective on eating problems: that they express relational needs and traumas when words cannot, and that treatment which focuses on “what’s eating at you” rather that “what you’re eating” offers deeper and longer-lasting healing. In our interview, Dr. Nina shares her personal journey to this realization and offers insights about our relationships with food that will speak to us all.
Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin is a psychoanalyst, author, radio host, and internationally recognized expert in the psychology of eating. She has been featured in Psychology Today, The Los Angeles Times, Prevention, Real Simple, Redbook, Huffington Post and many other publications, as well as numerous radio shows, summits and events. Dr. Nina also writes an award-winning blog, Make Peace With Food, and hosts a call-in radio program, The Dr. Nina Show, which airs Wednesdays at 10am PST on LA Talk Radio.