If you ask anyone who suffers from overweight or some kinds of eating disorders (the ED), the reasons for his problem, you will often hear about the lack of will power, low motor activity, lack of motivation, loss of control, etc. But the true motives most often will not be named, because they are not conscious or difficult to recognize. At the same time, such customers are able to talk about the food itself, food systems, cooking, etc., which allows you to build a secure bridge that strengthens contact and keeps the focus on the request.
MAC "Swedish table" can be used as an additional tool for diagnostic and therapeutic work with persons who have an ED. They allow you to first investigate the client's relationship directly with food (what to like, what is unacceptable, how to choose, what memories remind, etc.), and only then, through the interpretation of the choice made, to understand the relationship with other people, your body, feelings, ideas about themselves and the world as a whole. Thus, this deck helps through the study of images of literal food and food to find what in the client's psyche needs food, requires filling, craves "to be nourished." The literal images of various dishes are excellent metaphors of feelings, the needs of customers that hide behind the symptoms of overeating.
Next, we will give examples of the use of a deck of cards "Buffet" in the study of key topics in the therapy of customers with overeating or ED. Most often, the exercises were conducted with an open hand cards in order to reduce anxiety and not increase the resistance of the client.
The first meeting
At the first meetings it was suggested to simply choose those cards that liked something, or catch on, or did not like, but for some reason I want to take it. Next, it was suggested to group the cards, if possible.
So, one client, having considered the chosen one, was surprised by the resulting layout, as in it there were mostly dishes that she often orders in cafes with friends (despite the fact that she often cooks at home). Further during the meeting, she realized that eating with friends in a cafe is an important part of her life, meeting the need for emotional intimacy and social contacts.
Another client chose fried potatoes and meat. I could not understand for some time why I did not want to choose anything else. Then she told me that her overeating was related to the fact that children (who grew up and ran for a visit for an hour in the evening and on weekends) are very fond of fried potatoes and meat. And the preparation of a late dinner and eating it with the children is a way to stay "as before, with the whole family."
The client was invited to choose from open deck images with dishes that were associated with the word "hungry" and with the word "appetite". First, a lot of cards got into the pile of "hunger", and in the second the client wanted to pick up "something like that, you can not eat, so, indulge ...". As a result, there was a realization that the appetite is most often associated not with the desire to eat, but with the search for pleasure, and hunger is an occasion not to control oneself, but to allow a lot to eat, because "Really very hungry."
Filling, saturation, satiety, nutrition
Filling (saturation) - one of the important concepts when working with the topic of the ED. Often such customers do not feel their body: the stomach seems to them dimensionless, or after eating a portion of the salad - huge and convex "like a pregnant woman."
At the request to select the cards associated with a feeling of satiety and fullness, the client chose fatty, high-calorie dishes (salads with mayonnaise, fried potatoes). They had to be "very nourishing and fatty", but "otherwise you can not get hungry and hungry," and it was unacceptable to be hungry, as it turned out. This was due to the client's previous traumatic experience - memories of how she was left without means of subsistence and help, she needed to survive and take care of her little child. Thus, fatty fatty foods had to be guarded against feelings of hunger and heavy anxious experiences.
The feeling of disgust
The topic of disgust is one of the key issues when working with the ED. The experience of the client's early relationship is related to the fact that it was impossible to show aggression or extremely difficult, it was necessary to absorb all that was offered, "fed". And then disgust turned inside his own body, it became a shame.
To explore this topic, you can invite the client to select pictures that are disgusting. The number and quality will be diagnostic. It is important at the same time to ask what the disgustingly depicted.
An example is an example of a client who said on a card with scraps - "salad", with beetles and worms - that it was "raisins and spaghetti", and on a card with excrement she said it was like a cake. Those. apparently disgusting images were not perceived as such.
Prohibition and pleasure
Food is not only a necessity, but also a great pleasure. Very often in people with excess weight and some ED food becomes almost the only way to please themselves. Ask the client to choose those cards that are associated with pleasure, to name what exactly it is, what is its peculiarity, what is the degree of accessibility and legality (the resolution of this pleasure to oneself by the client). Next, offer to expand the topic and explore whether there is anything else in the life of the client that meets these criteria.
Often compulsive overeating is associated with the fact that a person first restricts himself too, and then "lets go of the reins" and there is everything in a row. In this case, the client should choose cards that show everything that brings pleasure. With what it is connected and how much their client allows himself, if not, why. What will happen if you allow it.
Working with Self-image
When working in the coaching format, it is effective to offer the client to choose those cards that correspond to his real "image of self." After discussing the desired image (without excess weight) and try out the "state of a more slender person" try to choose cards that reflect it. Will they differ from the first choice, and than.
It is important to remember that the therapeutic work relies mainly on the therapist (his competence, authenticity, etc.). Cards are one of the auxiliary tools to improve the efficiency of work. I hope that the proposed experience of using the metaphorical cards "Swedish table" will be useful in your practice.