From Body Shame to Body Positivity
Every therapist—no matter where they practice or who they see—has heard clients express shame about their body size. Often, this shame gets brushed aside as just an unfortunate byproduct of our cultural norms, but when people are at war with their bodies it can impact their work, relationships, and self-worth, often leading to anxiety and depression. To counter weight stigma and its damaging effects, it’s imperative that clinicians learn an alternative therapeutic framework in which to support physical and psychological well-being for people of all sizes.
Judith Matz, LCSW, ACSW, is co-author of The Making Peace with Food Card Deck, Body Positivity Card Deck and two books on the topics of eating and weight struggles, Beyond a Shadow of a Diet: The Comprehensive Guide to Treating Binge Eating Disorder, Compulsive Eating and Emotional Overeating, has been called “the new bible” on this topic for professionals. The Diet Survivor’s Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care was a #1 bestseller on Amazon and a favorite resource for therapists to use with clients. She is also the author of Amanda’s Big Dream, a children’s book that helps kids to pursue their dreams – at any size! Judith has a private practice in Skokie, IL, where she focuses her work with clients who want to get off the diet/binge rollercoaster and learn to feel at home in their bodies. Through her individual counseling, groups, workshops, presentations and books, Judith has helped thousands of people to develop self-care skills that increase physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing without a focus on the pursuit of weight loss. Through educational programs, she is dedicated to helping people end the preoccupation with food and weight. Judith received her MSW at University of Michigan and earned her post-graduate certificate at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, where she trained in the treatment of eating disorders. Judith is a frequent contributor to the Psychotherapy Networker magazine and a popular speaker at national conferences. Descriptions of her work have appeared in the media including the New York Times, LA Times, Allure, Fitness, Self, Shape, Today’s Dietitian, Diabetes Self-Management, NBC News Chicago, Huffington Post Live, and she appears in the documentary America The Beautiful 2.
Financial: Judith Matz is the director of The Chicago Center for Overcoming Overeating, Inc. and maintains a private practice. She receives royalties as a published author. Judith Matz receives a speaking honorarium, recording, and book royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Judith Matz is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the National Eating Disorder Association, and the Association for Size Diversity and Health.