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Food, Hunger, Longing and the Body

Guest blog from Bramham Therapy team members Rachel Cooper and Debbi Burch.

In July 2019 we ran a weekend therapeutic workshop on Food, Hunger, Longing and the Body and what a powerful experience it was. So much so we’re running it again in February 2020. 

As the title says, the weekend is an opportunity for participants to explore their relationships with food and hunger and to learn to listen to their bodies, emotions, needs and deeper longings. It’s not about weight loss; it’s about learning to trust embodied experience.

Over the duration of the workshop participants uncovered patterns in how they responded to themselves that had been difficult to see or understand. These patterns often began in childhood in response to how their needs were met. Ordinary emotions about ordinary needs being denied or indulged had become too frightening to reveal authentically and many of the ways they became hidden involved food.

The group used each other naturally and instinctively for support and acceptance. As they opened to the visceral pain inherent in their relationship with food, other relationships that had set this relational example came into view. Their response to exploring feelings about these formative relationships was relief. Once they knew that experiencing all their emotions was liberating rather than frightening, the underlying needs they’d learned to deny were obvious. 

Being open to these emotions and needs is what creates change; eating can then be based on bodily need and satisfaction rather than numbing or starving the emotions.

Some of the words the group associated with their gut at the start of the workshop were: stuffed, falling, revulsion, fearful, numb, sad, exhausted. By the end of the workshop this had changed to words such as: open, authentic, joyful, accepting, restful, friend and wise. It was a remarkable and moving transformation.

What a huge pleasure and privilege it was to have worked with this open, respectful, supportive and courageous group and we can’t wait to run the workshop again.

The next workshop will take place on 22nd and 23rd February 2020 in central Newbury. To register your interest or to enquire about this workshop contact:

Deb: 07957 111693


Rachel: 07969 036448

Here are some testimonials from the group:

“The title had me – Food, Hunger, Longing and the Body – I needed to do this because I always seem to be struggling with myself where food is concerned.”

“I keep reacting to the same old patterns. This weekend showed me how to feel what I was working so hard to avoid. It all made so much sense.”

“The support from the whole group was so effortlessly unconditional. Everyone there seemed to be at the same point and ready to be open, honest and vulnerable.”

“Deb and Rachel ran the group so beautifully. Welcomed us and made everyone feel really heard. They held the space with deep compassion and huge skill. They showed insightfulness and knew when to keep us in the feelings rather than the stories.”

“We covered so much in the two days. It was exhausting but exhilarating. We all want to gather again for another weekend in 6 months.”

“Thank you both for your wonderful learnings and for holding a safe, compassionate space for transformation. I loved it!”

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