Feeding is not only a physical, but also psychological need. In fact, since we were born, it acts as a go-between with us and the world: when a caregiver's figure nurses a baby, he or she receives at the same time his or her human warmth. The primary need of food, if not combined with the basic need of warmth, is not enough, as Object Relations Theory as shown. By feeding a baby, we can enter into an intimate, deep attachment, that will play a crucial role for his or her capacity of loving him or herself. Receiving food is linked with the emotions of satisfaction, rage and fear, that can change our relation with food in general, even till the extreme case of a total refusal of it. Sometimes we use the word "food/feeding" in a metaphorical sense: for instance, we say "food for the soul" or "brain food" or "feeding the spirit", and so on. This suggests that, as our body has to be well fed, so our mind and soul need their own "food". Our body can become anorexic as well as our soul and mind can fall ill with a sort of mental anorexia or bulimia. So we believe that we can prevent these diseases in adolescents with low self-esteem through a correct use of words: words that nourish.
Workshop First part by dr Margherita Graglia, expert at eating disorders