Emotional Eating

We don’t easily recognise that this continued pattern of emotional eating actually keeps us stuck in a continued pattern of trauma to ourselves. It’s as if we go around in emotional circles. We do not do this consciously. Our bodies are amazing that we can find a way to protect ourselves from feelings. This has been a very important coping and sometimes survival behaviour.  

For individual reasons dating back to our early experiences of relationship, our emotional development may have been impinged upon that has caused a delay in healthy emotional development.

This connects to our frustration of our continued experience of emotional eating cycles.

How many times have you vowed and declared that you won’t binge again or that some favourite food is off limits forever? We have the best intentions again and again however these ideas are not realistic to maintain long term. Life happens and unexpected feelings rise up again and food becomes the go to help, again.

The therapeutic relationship provides a thinking space to interrupt what is often described as an obsessive negative internal dialogue that we repeat before and after every emotional eating episode.

Understanding how to break these patterns and regulate our feelings without using food means learning the emotional triggers and body signals our feelings stir up.

We can learn to repair and change our patterns of behavior to discover a sense of contentment and authenticity with ourselves and life in general.

The desire to eat when we feel emotional may never go away, however we can develop more thinking space to make a choice. 



My name is Kate Raines and I am a trained and qualified psychotherapist who has been working in Gisborne, The Macedon Ranges and Kew since 1993. During these years I have assisted many individuals to bring about change, awareness and resolution in problematic areas of their lives.

My work is based on helping adults who are experiencing repeated patterns of difficulty; including feelings of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, relationship difficulties, emotional eating and weight struggles. The psychodynamic way in which I work helps you to explore and understand the patterns in your behaviour and what keeps you in these repeated experiences. Through our work of talking and thinking together, you can heal and resolve your feelings and move forward in living a better life.

I am trained as a somatic psychotherapist. The term ‘somatic’ comes from the Greek word soma, and means “relating to the body, especially as distinct from the mind.” I work to help you bring meaning and connection to your body and mind as one unit. I am interested to hear what you say, how you think and how you feel, as well as paying particular attention to what happens in the body. This might be that your breathing changes, your posture moves in a way you are not aware of, little unconscious movements that I am curious about.

My therapeutic approach in working with clients is strongly influenced by empathic attunement, emotional containment and somatic process. We cannot get “rid” of the past but we can learn to weave it into our lives so it does not have a hold over us when our feelings are triggered unexpectedly. Understanding and repairing emotional aspects of the past help you build resilience, hope and cohesion in moving forward.

My theoretical thinking is influenced by the psychoanalytic theories of Freud, Klein, Bion, Winnicott and self-psychology teachings of Kohut. I believe in the value of thinking about how our early attachments connect to the patterns of difficulty we might experience in the present. Developing a unique trust in the exploration and thinking space of the therapeutic relationship allows for you to build resilience and cohesion, and have a sense of confidence in life.

Because of the specific theories and techniques relating to the process of embodiment as a somatic psychotherapist, I help you bring together your mind-body connection that may have been disrupted at some stage. This disruption can often display as life being too hard, repeated patterns of conflict within yourself, relationships not working or a general sense of overwhelm and hopelessness. Sometimes these unresolved issues can firstly show up in our bodies and we can experience somatic symptoms or ‘dis-ease’ before a clear understanding can be known.  We initially get signals in our bodies that let us know something is not quite right, however many of us have not been taught or encouraged to listen to ourselves in this way.

Have you ever experienced your gut saying no but your voice saying yes or the other way around?

Most of us know this experience. Our work together is aimed at helping you think, feel and speak with a clear and intentional purpose. At times, and when agreed upon together, therapeutic touch or bio dynamic massage can be useful for releasing long held unexpressed feelings within the body. As I mentioned earlier, we cannot get rid of the feelings of the past, but being understood, listened to and emotionally validated can lead to healing and repair of the past experiences. Over time these feelings, conscious or unconscious, have less of a hold on us. We experience a sense of freedom within our thinking and a change with relationships in general.

Before becoming a psychotherapist I worked in private practise for five years as a massage therapist, having completed study at the Potomac Massage Training Institute in Washington DC. This particular training taught massage from the psychological and physiological aspects of body and mind. This is where my interest in the body and mind as a whole became important to my work.

Since then I have completed a five year Graduate Diploma in Somatic Psychotherapy and three years of post graduate studies in Psychotherapeutic Touch and Somatic Process. I also regularly complete training courses in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, self-psychology and eating disorders. I specialise in working with clients regarding emotional eating patterns and how these are connected to early patterns of emotional life.

I am a Clinical Member of the Australian Somatic Psychotherapy Association (ASPA) and listed as a Registered PACFA Clinical member. I follow and comply with the Ethical Standard Codes of these associations.