I offer a highly personalised programme of one-to-one recovery coaching for anyone going through difficulties with food or their body. Involving closely collaborative work together via video chat, email, and other online platforms, it’s designed to reconfigure restrictive and damaging habits of thought and behaviour—starting with food, but encompassing your body, work and play, other people, and anything else you need or want to tackle.
The basic coaching programme I offer has a shape and a rhythm to it. First we have a free consultation in which we establish what you want and need and whether I may be able to help you achieve those things. Then, if we both decide we want to work together, you’ll commit to one four-week block of coaching, including 5 hour-long video calls with detailed follow-up emails, plus daily email contact, to kickstart your recovery.
By the end of our first full conversation you will know what your goals are for the whole month and for this week, and you will know exactly what you are going to do this week to start making them a reality.
This structure creates momentum and overview for you, and allows you to devote energy and attention to the everyday changes that need making. Your progress is sustained by weekly conversations and daily email contact, and will involve:
- Assessment of your current recovery status
- Inductive identification of where and how we can most powerfully intervene to effect change
- Reflection on your reasons for taking recovery further, and where you want to be when this is over
- Tailored experiments for changing behaviours that are preventing your full recovery
- Targeting of problematic cognitive distortions and other patterns of thought
- Thoughts for the day, including fiction, poetry, music, and pictures to expand your thinking and feeling
- Regular review to assess progress and adjust our strategies where needed
Our work together may also include:
- Weekly or monthly themes like food, body, work and play, and you and other people
- Shared meals via video chat
- Light-touch habit tracking via the HabitShare app
My approach is centred on the reality that your mind cannot heal itself if your body remains malnourished. So if you are underweight, weight restoration via concerted changes to your eating and/or exercise behaviours will be central to what we do, and if you are at a healthy weight for your body, we will make sure you stay that way. If you are currently working with a doctor, therapist, counsellor, or dietician, your coaching programme will reflect this as appropriate. And I always welcome, and regularly invite, your suggestions and feedback on how things are going and anything you want or need to add or change.
I am best equipped to help you if you have suffered from a restrictive eating disorder like anorexia, but I may be able to offer support with other disorders too. And it doesn’t matter whether you feel you fit the anorexia stereotypes—if you’re an older woman, or a man, or your weight has never been drastically low, or your difficulties are more about obsessive exercise than about food, for instance. I work with individuals not diagnostic categories. You may also have problems with eating or your body that don’t constitute a full-blown eating disorder, but which are affecting your life enough that you want to address them properly.
If you’re considering coaching and are currently working with a doctor, therapist, or counsellor who has questions or concerns about what coaching is, you may like to direct them to my page for professionals.
You can read more about what I offer in these coaching FAQs and in this collection of example coaching pathways. You may also like to read a paper I published recently in Frontiers in Psychology, setting out my perspective on what eating disorders are and how we should be treating them: through eating-focused behaviour change.
Troscianko, E.T., and Leon, M. (2020). Treating eating: A dynamical systems theory of eating disorders. (open-access here)
Please let me know via the Contact page or by email (hunger.artist.coaching [at] gmail.com) if you’d like to schedule a discovery call to discuss how we might build a coaching programme to help you grow healthier and happier. I also offer one-time recovery consultations if you want a single dose of ideas and guidance for your recovery.
Recent clients have made these comments on their experiences of coaching with me (and given their permission for me to share them here):
“It is the most empowering form of recovery, actually enjoyable, having a light in your mind finally turned on, tailored to illuminate your own thoughts, by the most understanding and helpful coach I could have imagined.”
(Female client, 24)
“The exercises and weekly summaries (which i keep to refer back to) have revealed many thought patterns and behaviors that i never questioned or analyzed before. Not to be dramatic, but I’m living on a deeper level. Physically, i’ve had glimpses of how much better i will feel when i’m recovered – and the glimpses have helped me believe that those changes will happen.
The exercise that changed the way i look at and think about other people has had the greatest impact on how i relate to the world, and how i think about (or stop thinking about) myself. Besides making me feel more open to people and the world in general, it has helped me put aside a lot of shyness.
The coaching was just what i needed – a thoughtful, probing, and especially challenging exploration of what I’m doing and why. You made me think so much!”
(Female client, 57)
“Personally I couldn’t have asked for someone, or a coaching experience better: sensitive and empathic to my needs, yet critical to some of what I spouted and so gently, encouragingly nudging my thoughts and actions towards better outcomes. I really appreciated the critical thinking, that challenged my own thought patterns (even when I thought mine were rational and cogent, only to realise later they were formed in part by years of disordered thinking). Further to seeing the bigger picture and working with that – be that work, family, relationships. ED infests every aspect of life, and to work with you who was not only acutely aware of that, but was willing to explore other aspects of my life to see how these could be enriched once freed from the grips of ED thinking’s – work, family and a new found love life – I was hugely appreciative of. Finally, that while coaching began with being answerable to you (or, that I felt I needed to be answerable to you, to ensure the best possible chance of recovery) increasingly you enabled me to be answerable to myself in a positive way regarding food, eating, and recovery generally. That, towards the end, I had ownership of this, I could in fact do it. And did.”
(Male client, 40)
“Honestly Emily, it has been the best thing I have ever done. You have been incredible and I can’t thank you enough. I have learned so much – not just food/exercise related, but also about who I am outside the confines of the roles of wife/mother/daughter/doctor and how I want to live my life.”
(Female client, 39)
Working with Emily was one of the best decisions i have made in terms of my recovery. Her advice and guidance really allowed me to progress in my recovery.
(NL, female client)
Given how many years I’d devoted to contemplating my eating disorder, I found it remarkable that through my work with Emily I was able to question my convictions and behaviors around food and body in ways I hadn’t before. She helped me get to a place where I found it difficult to see the eating disorder as meaningful or necessary in my life. It becomes very hard to long for something when it seems totally futile, and I really came to know and accept the futility of the ED.
For years I was able to convince myself that I could still carry out a relatively normal life and achieve what I wanted while living in a disordered way, but via the exercises and reflective tasks I did with Emily, I revealed for myself the fact that this notion was false, and that even if I was able to enjoy periods of success and stability, I would still always be living a half life at best. This was hard to acknowledge but is ultimately what has pushed me into the final stages of recovery, something I doubted I’d ever be capable of accomplishing. Emily’s extensive knowledge, experience and expertise allowed me to trust the process completely, and my immense respect for her as a person, teacher and coach helped me to continue forward when things became difficult. It may sound dramatic, but working with Emily was a life changing experience and I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity.
Emily’s insight and experience has been more beneficial than words could ever do justice. Having had many forms of treatment in the past, Emily’s unique approach, support and wisdom, have finally allowed me to develop a life that I look forward to living. Something I had almost given up on after 12 years of Anorexia.
(ES, female client, 29)