Healing Your Hungry Heart

Healing Your Hungry Heart
Joanna Poppink, MFT
245 pages, paperback, 2011
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This step-by-step self-help book lays out essential guidelines for creating and supporting your ongoing recovery. It is written in conversational style, covering diverse topics, many of which are seldom mentioned in other ED books, such as spiritual depth, sexuality, the great terror, and triggers as teachers.

Like a sage guide and friend, psychotherapist Joanna Poppink also outlines the specific strategies, exercises, and activities she uses in her practice to help patients free themselves from the shame, secrecy, and isolation of living a life controlled by an eating disorder.

Interspersed are the inspiring stories of the women she has counseled, along with stories of her own personal experience with bulimia, to show how to face the challenges of these disorders and build internal strength, acquire wisdom, and move into recovery. “A lot of fortitude, creativity, determination, and strategic thinking are required to maintain an eating disorder and all of its demands,” says Poppink. “If you have the strength and ability to sustain an eating disorder, then you have the strength and ability to move beyond it.”

Healing Your Hungry Heart is a comprehensive, effective, recovery program that shows how to:

• Overcome triggers to emotional eating and self-criticism.
• Develop ways to feel safe and secure without resorting to eating disorder behaviors for comfort.
• Cope with tensions around relationships including friendships, romances, and family without acting out your eating disorder.
• Use your eating disorder behaviors as a metaphor to understand how you behave in other situations.
• Develop new mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual power and resiliency to cope with challenges without resorting to food or exercise rescues.

Ch 1 – Unreal to Read: Snapshots of My Story
Ch 2 – Beginning to Free Yourself
Ch 3 – Early Warning Signs
Ch 4 – How Do I Begin Recovery?
Ch 5 – Boundaries: A Challenge in Early Recovery
Ch 6 – Secrets
Ch 7 – Challenges to Eating Well
Ch 8 – Contemplations on Eating a Meal
Ch 9 – Spiritual Depth
Ch 10 – The Great Terror
Ch 11 – Recovery Check-In
Ch 12 – Sex, Stalking, and Exploitation
Ch 13 – Family
Ch 14 – Triggers as Teachers: Staying on Your Recovery Path
Appendix A – Affirmations
Appendix B – Additional Exercises and Activities for All Chapters
Appendix C – Facts about Eating Disorders and the Search for Solutions
Appendix D – Recovery Journal Prompts
Appendix E – How to Find More Help

Joanna Poppink, MFT, is a licensed psychotherapist with more than 25 years of experience specializing in treating adults with eating disorders. She studied psychology at UCLA and the Saybrook Institute and received her master’s degree from Antioch University. She lives in Los Angeles.


“Joanna Poppink writes not only of the heart, but from the heart. Through many examples, exercises, and distillations of her well-earned wisdom, she gives hope and help to women who are struggling with the pain and shame of eating disorders.”
— Joan A. Lang, MD
Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, professor emeritus ad former chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Saint Louis University

“If you struggle with food or body image, Joanna Poppink’s Healing Your Hungry Heart is sure to help! Through her story and those of others, Joanna assures us that true recovery is both real and attainable. This is an important addition to the recovery bookshelf.”
— Jenni Schaefer
author of Goodbye Ed, Hello Me and Life Without Ed

“At last, it’s here! A book that speaks to women of all ages who have lived with the devastating and deadly conditions called eating disorders. Healing Your Hungry Heart not only gives solid, practical advice to someone who wants to be truly recovered, but also gives advice that speaks to the heart and true identity of a real woman.”
— Jeanne Rust, PhD
CEO and founder of Mirasol Eating Disorder Treatment Center