Counselling and Psychotherapy for
Body, Mind and Spirit

Ina Stockhausen, MTC

Ina Stockhausen R.P.C. offers spiritual counselling and body psychotherapy or somatic counseling in Burnaby and North Vancouver.


Many years ago, when I was training in Dance Movement Therapy and Ritual Theater, at some point during the exercises I would find myself overwhelmed with feelings. At the time, that felt scary and “not good enough” and a typical reaction was to tell myself that I had to “get a grip.”

How often do you tell someone in your life…yourself perhaps… to get a grip?  To get it together?

Other versions of this are “What’s the matter with you?”

Because really and truly, what is the matter with you? Why are you unhappy or depressed or feeling anxious? Why are you unsatisfied with your life? You have no reason. You have a good life, a good partner, a job and a roof over your head. Think about all the people on this planet who are so much worse off than you are.

It doesn’t make sense!!

If this type of inner dialogue sounds familiar, then you also know that these kinds of thoughts and feelings are very unsettling. If like many, you manage uncomfortable or painful feelings thru emotional eating, you might find yourself standing in front of the fridge or cupboard looking for that special treat which will make you feel better.

But what if it did make sense? What if there was NO thing wrong with you?

What if you were able to stop, breathe and stop censuring yourself?

If you were to allow yourself to sit in authenticity, your feelings surfacing without judgment?

What would happen?

You could find a gateway to your true self. You would be able to still the longings that have somehow gotten on the “forbidden” list.

You would not have to go looking for food again and again until you decide to punish yourself with a diet.

Three things are needed for the process of “allowing it to make sense.”

You need to let go of shame and find your courage so you can cultivate self-compassion.

If you can embody who you already are rather than trying to be something you’re not, you’re on your way to uncovering compassion.

Be present with yourself and trust your knowing.
Accept the awareness of your feelings and allow them to be good enough, to be perfect just the way they are.

That is your first step towards letting go of shame and practicing self-compassion.

Initially, this place of authenticity can be scary and uncomfortable, because the old voices in your head telling you that your feelings don’t make sense and you should “get a grip” do not disappear quietly. However, a practice of mindfulness and loving kindness towards what defines you in this moment will allow you to linger more often and for longer periods of time in your place of truthfulness.

Remember, authenticity is not a quality, it is a collection of choices that you make every day and every moment. The more you can love yourself and who you are, the less you will need to turn to food to stuff down how you really feel.


This in turn will allow you to heal your relationship with food and your body and break free from the pursuit of weight loss thru yo-yo dieting.

I leave you with a quote from Oriah Mountain Dreamer:

“What if the question is not why I am so infrequently the person I really want to be, but why do I so infrequently want to be the person I really am?”


Eating Disorders Therapist North Vancouver, Counselling Burnaby

It’s that time of the year again where many decide that they want or need to lose weight – it is the time of a NEW DIET. But wait – do you want to lose weight to gain it back again or do you want to heal your relationship with food?

Etymologically speaking, the word „DIET“ comes from the Greek „diaita” which means manner of living or way of life. In this context, DIET can be the answer to healing your relationship with food and emotional eating.

As a therapist who specializes in Emotional Eating and Addictions I do not endorse diets where diet say NO to diets means restricting food types and quantities for the purpose of weight loss.

In my experience, as soon as you attach yourself to a set of strict dietary rules you’re detaching yourself from the connection to your body and from your ability to tune in and ascertain what your body wants.

Unless there are specific contributing factors such as certain health issues or side effects to medication, anyone who has a weight problem has most likely some sort of emotional connection to food and a disconnect from their body.
Whenever we overeat we’re not connected to our body.

Burnaby counselling for women helps you stop emotional eating

When you’re on a diet, you’re forced to override the hunger signals of the body in order to follow the prescribed quantities and types of food to be consumed.
Furthermore, diets activate a deprivation mentality. Instead of connecting to what one is really hungry for, all one often thinks about is the food that is “off limits”.

Returning to the concept of mindfulness, becoming present and connected to your body is the first step to addressing emotional eating and the consequences of excess weight. A diet prevents that from happening.

When food and eating have become a way to get grounded, fill a sense of emptiness or longing or a way of swallowing one’s feelings, a diet becomes a temporary diversion from the current underlying issue.
Some individuals enjoy the rules and structure a diet gives them. They experience a sense of control. Others get even more stressed by diets.

Going on a diet is really a way of saying, “I don’t trust myself. I cannot trust myself. If I don’t have rules, I will not be able to control what I do with food.”
Ironically, often so much time and effort is spent on implementing controls, that the underlying issues are effectively – if momentarily- lost. What would happen if instead of struggling with dietary rules and senses of failure or victory, the underlying discomfort was actually felt and experienced? What if one could come to a place of trusting oneself to sit with and experience feelings such as fear, grief or anger? What if diet could stand for a compassionate dialogue with self?

Many yo-yo dieters struggle with poor body image. The diet mindset only reinforces the notion that there is something wrong. That one’s worth is somehow tied to a number on a scale!!

After years of dieting, this rollercoaster of gathering hope as some of the weight comes off and then being plunged back into an abyss of failure as the weight creeps back on, again perpetuates a disconnect from the underlying issues and needs that are being deflected in this merry-go-round.

If we connect diet and nutrition, where diet is a way of life and of connecting to self and the environment with mindfulness, more of us could rediscover the benefits of eating local and seasonal produce.

Not only would this “diet” reduce our ecological footprint, our bodies would benefit as well.

In this day and age of busy schedules, and particularly as urban dwellers, these might be lofty or unrealistic goals. But tuning in and learning what “diet” our particular body thrives on…with the emphasis on “our body” and not on “our head” would certainly be a step towards health and healing from the diet mindset.