Counselling Stafford – Healthy Minds

Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

Having an eating disorder such as Binge Eating Disorder (BED) can seem like a life sentence as it is known to be one of the hardest addictions to overcome but not impossible.

In the UK it was recorded that 12 million people are affected by an eating disorder, 360,000 of these have BED, the figures from 2015 are likely to be much higher than those reported.

When we look at any addiction we discover that there may be a number of things that have caused the addiction plus a number of things that maintain the addiction, let’s start by looking at these specifically for BED:-

CAUSES (This is not an exclusive list)

  1. A genetic mutation in relation to a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, this brain structure actually controls appetite.
  2. Low levels of serotonin (happy drug produced in our brain), these affect and play a role in compulsive eating.
  3. Early childhood conditioning when growing up, the relationship that the family have with food is an important element to consider. Was Food used as a comfort or a reward to dismiss emotions?
  4. Feelings of lonlieness.
  5. Feelings of boredom.
  6. Feeling unloved.
  7. Feeling numb.
  8. Various types of anxiety can promote isolation and lead to overeating.
  9. Low self-esteem
  10. Stress


  1. Emotional pain that is not understood.
  2. Anxiety conditions.
  3. A lack of direction and goals that can be maintained.
  4. Unhelpful thinking patterns.
  5. Habitual behaviours.
  6. Not understanding the trigger.
  7. Failing to replace the addiction with a new coping strategy.
  8. Afraid of failing.
  9. Fear of being slim and healthy.
  10. Stuck in a void situation.

Unlike other addictions, consuming food is necessary for survival therefore this makes giving the drug up much more challenging. The BED addiction is a drug that differs totally from other addictions, it is not feasible to avoid it. Your relationship with food needs to be based on nutritional needs and not your emotional needs. If you have overcome this addiction then you have done an amazing job and should be very proud.


A. Distraction techniques

B. Telephone a friend

C. Delay the urge to eat

D. Video yourself just before you are heading for the food

E. Remove all temptation

F. Learn to discriminate between physical and emotional hunger

G. Learn to ask yourself, ‘Am I actually hungry’.

H. Are you in a trance when you are eating? Be mindful when you are eating and how it tastes

I. Fight boredom with a list of coping items

J. Do not avoid fat

At Healthy Minds you are taught how to understand the why and how to rid yourself of BED. Imagine what it would be like to walk away from this addiction?

Is Your Life Stuck in Reverse?

Are you stuck in reverse?

Or is your handbrake just stuck on?

What a waste of life whether your in either positions they just add up to the same thing? Stuck.

Have you considered how easy it might be to change your STUCK stuff?

You can work to achieve this in hours, not years,  it’s an exciting concept but a reality with Healthy Minds.

How committed are you to changing?  Are you worth the investment?

Surprise your self by investing in YOU to enable you to move into your future.

A Professional Dilemma

Have you ever felt that as a professional you had nowhere to turn? Have you ever felt alone? Have you ever felt that nobody would understand because you are a professional and if you ever told anybody how you felt they would frown?  Being a professional can inhibit an individuals ability to be happier. Often,  when in a professional capacity it comes to the point that you may feel that you have nobody to talk to, primarily as you are so successful and so admired and the perceptions of others make can make one feel inept to a breakdown or help. So what next, who can be trusted and how can you move forward?

It’s difficult because you may not know who to trust, more importantly you may not  know who can do the job to make you better because let’s face it we often feel that we know better than anybody else about most things  We are smarter than anybody else, we know the answers, we know the conclusion, however we are still stuck in the same cycles of  unhappiness. So who do we turn to? Who do we trust the stories to? Do we carry on and trust nobody? Or do we take plunge and go for somebody that might be authentic and help us to make better decisions ?
How much do you want to change your life?

Healthy Minds prides itself on working with thousands of professionals in a safe and confidential environment.


I just want to be happy

Most clients that visit Healthy Minds state “I just want to be happy”. What does that mean? Well for some individuals that means feeling less scared of their world, less anxious and more confident. For others it’s feeling more loved within their empty shallow relationships – which may include teenagers living within strange family  turmoil, wives/husbands, daughter’s/son’s experiencing unbalanced and strange dynamics. Often it can also include children that feel that they just don’t fit in school with their peers or alternatively it may be adults that don’t feel that they fit within the work place, either or, they feel different and the odd one out, lonely and isolated.

At Healthy Minds we explore each and every domain within a one hour assessment. That means that you can confidently walk out of your  assessment appointment knowing that your going to achieve your goal, “I want to be happy’.

Providing your honest and clear within your assessment then your psychological goals should be achieved.You can rest assure that your troubles will be addressed and overcome in as little time as is feasibly possible.We only have one tiny secret to our success at Healthy Minds, if you want to reach your potential and you are prepared to work at it then so be it.

People are repeatedly amazed by the positive results that occur within hours, not years! Are you interested in changing your life? Don’t deliberate, invest in you, surely you are worth it?

Causes of Sex Addictions

Understanding the causes of sex addictions is important in the process of therapeutic recovery. We are already aware that adverse sexual behaviour is similar in it’s development to a chemical addiction, similar in the neurological sense and specifically in the reward centre of the brain.

Porn addiction and sex addiction are not the same disorder, a sexual addiction can include an addiction to pornography. Signs that normally predict an addict to sex includes somebody suffering from an emotional or a physical problem or indeed both.

It’s understood that some sex addicts fear being abandoned, they often stay in a relationship that isn’t healthy but feels acceptable in order to avoid being alone. When they are alone they may feel empty or incomplete, this may then lead to craving their sexual addiction. At times the individual may sexualise feelings like guilt, lonlieness, anger or fear, as these emotions can feel very uncomfortable, the need to escape can lead to risky sex as a method of avoiding the emotion that is causing the pain/shame.

The psychological effects are profound at times;

Feelings of shame


Emotional distress

These feelings can originate from;



Substance abuse

Impulse problems

OCD type symptoms

When we look at the biological elements of sex addiction we can identify high levels of sex hormones such as testosterone or estrogen, obviously these have an affect on libido, all of which are treatable. The addiction is generally psychologically driven through feelings of anxiety and or depression, which may have been initiated by social isolation growing up and as adults too.

Drug and sex addictions both affect the reward system of the brain, the release of dopamine leads to pleasure and euphoria. However, these feelings are short lived, they are often followed by guilt and self hatred that serves to further destruct the individual and their families.

Breaking the sex addiction cycle is paramount to enable the individual to live a more carefree and guilt free life. Working with a psychologist within Healthy Minds enables the individual to enhance their emotional intelligence skills which serves as a platform to recovery.







Emotional Intelligence


If you’ve watched the Disney cartoon ‘Inside Out’ you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s just another children’s cartoon. But in reality it is a good insight for adults into the way our emotions work and about how important it is for us to develop our Emotional Intelligence (EI) – sometimes known as Emotional Quotient (EQ).

An Emotion is a mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes, such as butterflies in the stomach. Emotions just happen they are part of our evolution. Some animals don’t have them because they don’t have limbic systems, which is the area of our brain where emotions come from.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize such emotions, in oneself and in others and how we react to them. The film ‘Inside Out’ portrays really effectively the internal conflict between our own emotions and the response to other people’s emotions. The film centres on the conflict between Happiness and Sadness and their responses to outside events.

The film shows that emotions are data – they help you to think and you can reason with them. If you ignore them they become monsters in your cupboard. They remain hidden and then take on an even scarier aspect in your mind. When you start to open the cupboard the emotions are like toppling boxes that cascade out and overwhelm you.

There are definite benefits to your health and wellbeing if you can develop your Emotional Intelligence. Relationships improve rather than erode and negative emotions are repressed which helps to relieve stress.

You can start to develop your EI immediately with some simple strategies. Do a physiological check on yourself – How does your tummy feel? Are you angry or afraid? Adjust your Responsive strategies – ask yourself “Is this the time or the place?”. Type up an email response but only send it to yourself. Start a journal but confine it to your emotions and about how you felt or reacted to events that occurred that day. All of this though is just a start to enable you to improve your EI.

So watch the film ‘Inside Out’ and keep your eye on this blog. There will be more on Emotional Intelligence.


Valentine’s Day – What does it mean for you

Whether it was originally a day to celebrate a Christian Martyr or a Roman pagan fertility rite as always this day means different things to different people. Cards, Chocolates, Romantic dinner for two!

To the gorgeous flirty 15 year old it means standing by the door of number 47 waiting for the postman to deliver the post and watching the dressing table fill with Valentine cards from mystery boys dying to profess their love. “Mmmm which one to choose? Just wait till I get to school and show all my mates how many cards I got”.valentines day

Across the street lives the dowdy, slightly overweight 15 year old, who is dreading going to school on this day. Having to listen to the crowing of all of the ‘beautiful people’ as they boast of their secret admirers – waiting for the daily ritual of bullying to start. “Come on chubby tell us how many cards you got!”

While just up the street at Number 25 is the 40 something, who dreads this day because it is the day he lost the woman he vowed to love for the rest of his life, his best friend, the centre of his existence. Today is a day for crying and wondering how he will get through the next day and the one after that.

And at number 5 the successful professional lady, who everyone thinks has everything that life can give waits for the click of the door and for her husband to return; smelling of alcohol and stale perfume. And she wonders where all the romance has gone and if tonight is going to be another night of pain and humiliation.

If Valentine’s Day isn’t filled with romance, chocolates and champagne for you then you can change it. You can take back your life and break out of the coercive control of others. Here at Healthy Minds Stafford we have a team of psychologists, counsellors, coaches and hypnotherapists who will help you to change your life for the better.