Healing Emotional Eating Book

A compassionate guide
to heal the trauma
at the root of emotional eating.

Did you experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse when you were a child or adolescent? This past trauma and other adversity may affect how you care for yourself today. You may struggle with difficult thoughts and feelings and reach for food to soothe your emotions when feeling sad, anxious, or afraid.

If you can relate, you’re not alone. In fact, studies show a strong link between early trauma and emotional eating. That’s why I wrote Healing Emotional Eating for Trauma Survivors. I want to help you discover this connection so you can break free and stop being held hostage by your past.

“Healing Emotional Eating for Trauma Survivors is a gentle tour de force of a book.”

—Joanne Ahola, MD, DLFAPA

The good news is there are tools you can use to heal the pain you carry within and nurture a healthier relationship with food, your body, and yourself. In this book, you’ll find step-by-step guidance for rewiring your brain to calm trauma-based fears; regulate your body and emotions; connect with your inner wisdom for strength; and release emotional weight from your mind, body, and spirit.

Healing Emotional Eating for Trauma Survivors offers an innovative, trauma-informed approach to overcoming emotional eating using the principles of mindfulness, self-compassion, and neuroscience. With this gentle guide, you will gain a deeper understanding of the trauma you experienced and learn alternative ways to soothe stress and difficult emotions when they show up. You’ll also learn to shift your focus away from your weight, so you can cultivate a more loving connection with your body as you heal. 

In this book, I share powerful exercises and strategies to: 

  • Calm your anxious brain and body 
  • Safely process your emotions 
  • Heal and release limiting beliefs
  • Transform self-punishment into self-compassion 
  • Practice self-forgiveness and release body shame 
  • Take your power back from trigger foods 
  • Create an emotionally safe sanctuary with friends, family, and home 

Inside the book, you’ll also receive links that give you access to helpful worksheets to download and have on hand to support you on this journey, along with four powerful audios that provide deep healing and relaxation and help you connect with your inner guidance and body wisdom.

My sincere wish is that in this book you’ll find the support you need to end the cycle of emotional eating and release the weight of early trauma—and live with a greater sense of freedom, empowerment, inner peace, and self-love. 

With love,

Editorial Reviews:

“Practical, smart, and wise, this beautifully crafted guide fills a much-neglected niche in the trauma self-help literature. Diane succeeds in de-pathologizing and simplifying the complexities of emotional, cognitive, somatic, and behavioral residue of trauma. She offers simple yet powerful practices for addressing the nervous system dysregulation that leads to emotional eating. Readers will discover new ways of dealing with triggering states, resulting in more resilience and adaptive behaviors. Highly recommended!”

Julie M. Simon, MA, MBA, LMFT, licensed psychotherapist, life coach, and author of The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual and When Food Is Comfort.

“I wish I had this book thirty-five years ago when I started on my own journey toward making peace with food and my body. If you’re ready to develop a more compassionate understanding of how your emotional eating helps you cope with developmental trauma, and experience a nourishing relationship with food, Diane is your guide! Healing Emotional Eating for Trauma Survivors is clear and comprehensive, filled with heart and inspiration.”
—Barbara L. Holtzman, MSW, LICSW, psychotherapist; and author of Conscious Eating, Conscious Living.

“A wise and compassionate book that illuminates how trauma survivors can finally make peace with emotional eating. Diane Petrella guides readers to deeply understand why their trauma has led to their struggles—and offers healing strategies, wisdom, and gentle kindness to release their pain, secrets, anxiety, and stress. Petrella captures the heartbeat of what it means to recover from trauma and emotional eating, and offers hope that recovery is possible.”
—Mary Anne Cohen, LCSW, BCD, director of The New York Center for Eating Disorders; and author of three books on eating disorders, including Lasagna for Lunch.

“Healing Emotional Eating for Trauma Survivors is a gentle tour de force of a book. From its first words, seasoned therapist Diane Petrella guides readers onto a path of compassionate self-healing of the trauma that lies within emotional eating. Her knowledge base is deep and wide, and her therapeutic approaches address mind, body, and soul, opening doors for all to make new choices.”
—Joanne Ahola, MD, DLFAPA, psychiatrist in New York City, NY; specializing in psychotherapy and the psychological effects of trauma and human rights abuses

“This deeply compassionate look at the connection between early trauma and emotional eating provides an outstanding self-help program for addressing these painful issues. With warmth and empathy, Diane Petrella guides you along a path of healing that is based on empirical data and clinical wisdom. As you travel this journey, you’ll feel as if Diane is holding your hand, offering reassurance and comfort every step of the way.”
—Leigh Anne Hohlstein, PhD, clinical assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, and psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of eating disorders

“Healing Emotional Eating for Trauma Survivors offers practical and grounded strategies to help you heal ‘both inside-out and outside-in.’ If you are a trauma survivor—this kind and gentle book will help you have a greater understanding of the impact of your trauma on your emotional system, and have a better relationship with your body and food.”
—Gretchen L. Schmelzer, PhD, author of Journey Through Trauma.

“Diane Petrella brings a compassionate approach to resolving the challenges of emotional eating and childhood trauma. She provides many nourishing practices to establish a healthy relationship with food, while gently addressing early trauma. Diane’s step-by-step guidance, prompts, and suggestions can bring you back to a deep sense of security, opening you to your innermost being.”
—Julie Brown Yau, PhD, author of The Body Awareness Workbook for Trauma.

“If you’re a trauma survivor and use food to cope, you’ll find comfort, guidance, and hope in this insightful book. Petrella helps you understand that emotional eating is not your fault, but a self-care strategy that helped you survive. She then compassionately guides you through easy, comforting strategies you can use to heal emotionally, rebalance your nervous system, and discover your authentic self as you find freedom from emotional eating.”
—Courtney Armstrong, LPC, author of Rethinking Trauma Treatment.

“Diane Petrella’s compassionate voice comes through loud and clear in this excellent book that examines the connection between emotional eating and trauma. With an understanding that turning to food for comfort isn’t about a lack of willpower, a matter of addiction, or solved through dieting, Diane offers practical, gentle strategies to heal your relationship with food at any size.”
—Judith Matz, LCSW, coauthor of The Diet Survivor’s Handbook and The Making Peace with Food Card Deck.