A loving relationship with every part of ourselves is the container for healing, growth and change.” – Karly Randolph Pitman
Growing human(kind)ness is a compassion based, relational approach to healing the emotional roots of eating disorders and addiction.
Growing human(kind)ness is based on the premise that:
- Eating disorders and addictions arise out of unmet needs, not from poor will power or self control.
- These unmet needs require kindness, compassion and awareness to change – not punishment, shame, self judgment, or self punishment.
- Shame, self judgment, blame, and self punishment perpetuate addictions and compulsive behaviors.
- A securely attached, loving relationship with your own, tender self is the container through which all healing occurs. This loving relationship provides the safety to look inside, to adapt, to grow, and to change.
A map for emotional healing
If growth is the result of having what we need, and accepting every part of ourselves is what leads to wholeness, then how do we do this? That’s where growing human(kind)ness steps in – it’s the “how” in how you love yourself. Growing human(kind)nessTM is a map for:
- Identifying the deep unmet needs that are at the root of addictive behavior
- Softening shame, self blame and judgment
- And creating a loving, merciful relationship with every part of yourself – with your emotions, needs, thoughts, feelings, body, and even your addiction itself.
This inner work changes how you relate to yourself, how you think about yourself, how you talk to yourself, and how you care for yourself. The result is an ability to respond to the pull to use – to overeat, binge, purge, compulsively diet, smoke, shop, drink – differently.
Growing human(kind)ness includes these 6 practices:
Grounding – Regular, rhythmic self care leads to consistency, capability, and safety – a message of self assurance that says, “I have what I need; I am strong and capable.” This deep nourishment is the base for all growth and healing.
Nurturing – What need are you trying to meet with your addiction or eating disorder? Learn how to meet your deepest needs – your needs for belonging, connection, love and more – with compassionate awareness instead of shaming, discounting, minimizing or editing needs.
Flowing – Lower anxiety, stress, and overarousal by caring for your sensitivity and your nervous system. Create emotional, energetic, and personal boundaries, moving with the ebb and flow of life.
Acceptance – Acceptance has two components: releasing and grieving what you can’t change so that you can adapt, heal and grow; and radically accepting all aspects of your being within the container of unconditional love – especially those parts of you that you most dislike.
Centering – Soften all or nothing thinking, perfectionism, and shame by questioning “shoulds,” thoughts and beliefs. Shift out of collapse, hopelessness, and blame into kindness, hopefulness, and integrative functioning (“and” vs. “either/or.”)
Compassion – Be gentle, loving and tender with yourself. Compassion soothes emotional wounds, offers self forgiveness, and creates a tender levity towards your own imperfection. This inner sanctuary – a place of safety and rest – is the refuge that nourishes all growth.
Emotional and spiritual reparenting
All healing is based on relationship. To heal an addiction or eating disorder, you’re first healing the relationship that you have with your very self. Just as a safe, secure, loving parent helps a child thrive and grow, a safe, secure loving internal parent also helps us thrive and grow. This inner refuge is how we regulate intense emotions, heal deep seated wounds, release what we can’t change, and grow out of harmful behaviors.
By changing how we relate, we can change how we respond. Behavioral change is the fruit – the result – of a self loving, compassionate, kind relationship.
How growing human(kind)ness began
Growing human(kind)ness was created by Karly Randolph Pitman after 20 years of struggle with various eating disorders (sugar addiction, bulimia, binge eating disorder, compulsive overeating, body hatred, and orthorexia) and lifelong challenges with depression and anxiety. Her work with other sensitive men and women (who were also struggling with various addictions) led her to create a healing approach that was the right fit for highly sensitive, conscientious souls.
Her approach draws from a wide variety of psychological and spiritual disciplines, although its main influences are attachment theory as taught by Dr. Gordon Neufeld, non violent communication (NVC), self compassion, and Elaine Aron’s research on high sensitivity. Other influences include Imago therapy, Jungian psychology, psychosynthesis, internal family systems theory, and the work of Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, and Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross.
- To explore Karly’s work in applying this therapy, peruse her sugar workbook, Overcoming Sugar Addiction for Life, or her overeating program, Heal Overeating: Untangled.
- Search the glossary of terms.