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.

What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

In a recent blog, I wrote about speaking your truth when you are upset with someone, rather than stuffing it down or blasting it out. To that end, I wanted to share some practical one-liners for those times when you are caught off-guard. Many of us feel like a deer in headlights when someone says something insulting, hurtful, or presumptuous, and we have no comeback prepared. Like learning any new language, the language of assertive yet respectful communication takes practice. So here are some ideas for you: What makes you ask that? What makes you say that? I’ll have to get back to you on that. I need to take some time and think about it. That’s not going to work for me. Ouch. That hurts. I know I agreed to do that, but I changed my mind. I’m very sorry. I understand that’s how you feel. And this is… Continue reading

Sometimes Adults Need Tantrums, Too! – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

When I was studying to become a psychotherapist, a professor told me that people generally seek therapy for one of two reasons: They are either having a tantrum or they need to have one! I have actually counseled people for many additional reasons but the tantrum tip has stuck with me over the years. And as I have worked with clients’ issues (as well as my own), I have recognized the importance of an occasional adult tantrum. Tantrums are usually associated with children and are often considered unpleasant and unwanted. But what about a healthy, grown-up tantrum? What about making a conscious decision to welcome up our emotions rather than stuff them in or lash them out? We all experience bumps in the road that trigger emotions. These bumps can range from minor irritations to challenging hardships to major traumas. A flat tire, a root canal, lost luggage: not fun, but likely something you’ll… Continue reading

Can Our Connections Last If We Multitask and Move Too Fast? – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

At the risk of sounding like my great-grandmother, longing for the good ol’ days, I can’t help but think back on simpler times when people would come home from work, throw their mail down on the counter, check their answering machine for messages and call it a day. These days it’s more like checking voicemails while driving home, checking emails and Facebook once we arrive, Tweeting out something clever, and Instagramming some selfies while checking the queue on the DVR! Now I have nothing against modern technology. I think it’s miraculous and revolutionary. Yet I often find myself wondering, can we be connected to our devices all the time and still be connected to each other and ourselves? Recently, while driving home from my office I was stopped at a crosswalk waiting for some kids to pass by on their way out of school. I saw what I considered to… Continue reading

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