Andrea Wachter
    Andrea Wachter is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the author of Getting Over Overeating for Teens. She is also co-author of Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Breaking the “I Feel Fat” Spell and The Don’t Diet, Live-It Workbook. Andrea is an inspirational counselor, author and speaker who uses professional expertise, humor and personal recovery to help others.

    Fat Is Not a Feeling By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

    My earliest memory of “feeling fat” was when I was about 12 years old. Up until that time, I was not all that aware of having a body; I was pretty much just in my body, doing the things that kids do. I had not yet learned that I was supposed to look differently than I did. I had not yet downloaded the program that some foods were “good” and others were “bad.” I did not yet have exercise and movement linked up with calorie burning or self-worth. Then I got teased about my size. I started to compare myself to my skinnier friends and I began what was to become a full-time job of feeling fat. I had no clue at the time that fat was not a feeling. I didn’t know that body obsession was a cover up for low self-worth, and neither did I know, at the… Continue reading

    A Letter For Your Isolated and Hard to Reach Teen – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT and Steve Legallet, LMFT

        As family therapists, we are seeing more and more young people who are suffering from various degrees of depression, anxiety, addictions and social isolation as they try to mask all of the emotions and negative consequences associated with theses self-defeating behaviors. We also see many concerned and baffled parents who struggle with trying to find ways to help their wounded and isolated kids. If you have a son or daughter who is suffering, addicted, depressed, anxious, isolated, angry and/or shut down, here are some words that you might consider writing or saying to open the door to a new avenue of communication: Dear Son or Daughter, We see that you are struggling and suffering. We imagine that there are many thoughts and feelings underneath your anger including confusion, fear, hopelessness, and pain. We understand that you are going through a very difficult time in your life, and that… Continue reading

    9 Ways to Improve Body Image – By Andrea Wachter & Marsea Marcus

    Body dissatisfaction is an epidemic in our image-obsessed culture. If you are a member of the unofficial “club” of women who dislike or despise their bodies, you may have discovered that the daily dues are high and the long-term benefits are low. But membership in this body-bashing club is hard to avoid, with people speaking the club’s not-so-secret language and recruiting new members just about everywhere you turn. We call this club’s language “Fat Chat.” Fat Chat is when people talk about food, fat, or other peoples’ bodies in a negative way. Even positive comments about bodies can sometimes be Fat Chat because of the focus on looks and the pressure it causes people to think they need to look a certain way. Club doctrine dictates that there are “good foods” and “bad foods” (though this changes, depending on the year). Club status is determined by how much or how… Continue reading

    Genuine Surrender – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

      Having been around the spiritual book block a time or two (umm, make that more like 2,000!), I am no stranger to the concept of surrender. If you’re anything like me, you’ve heard it and read it a thousand times too: “What you resist will persist,” “Let it go and see if it flies back,” etc. I don’t know about you, but when I want something, the last thing I am inclined to do is let it go and see if it comes back. And yet, everything I have ever read regarding the laws of attraction and the foundation of spiritual principles has led me back again and again to this: Obsessing and excessive efforting equals misery and usually does not help in attaining my goals, whereas letting go and surrendering brings peace and is often accompanied by some pretty magical experiences. (And if nothing magical happens to occur, if there… Continue reading

    Barnacled, Boundaried or Balanced: What’s Your Attachment Style? By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

          “I dated her for a while, but she got way too clingy.” “I was interested in him at first, but then he became needy and controlling.” “I love my husband, but sometimes he’s so distant that I don’t know what’s going on with him.” “I want things to work out with my girlfriend, but whenever I get too close, she withdraws.” Do any of these statements sound familiar? In the psychotherapy world, they are all signs of unhealthy attachments. In the first two examples, the complaint is about someone getting overly attached while the latter two signify distancing or under-attachment. We all learn how to form attachments in early childhood, which then lays the foundation for the types of attachments we will form in adulthood. If our caregivers were safe, present and reliable, we can explore the world, knowing we have a safe harbor to come back… Continue reading