Kitchen Therapy

Who’s it for?

Kitchen Therapy is for anyone looking for a practical and productive form of therapy, conducted in a friendly and relaxed environment. It is for anyone looking to explore personal issues in a creative and sensory way. Please read the following examples of Kitchen Therapy in practice:

Learning (or re-learning) how to care for oneself:

From an abusive background, James suffered with issues around self care. We specifically worked on developing a new, helpful 'inner' parent by:

  • Planning weekly dietary/menu around his routines
  • Considering his fitness and career aims and how his diet could support that
  • Encouraging both nutritional and pleasurable elements in cooking
  • Cooking together to support this process

For James, the hands on approach in this practical therapy was less threatening and more productive, than ordinary talking therapy.

Health issues requiring changes in eating habits

Martha was feeling stuck and resentful regarding her diet and cooking after a high cholesterol count demanded a change in her eating habits. Kitchen therapy was able to support her in these changes by:

  • Researching foods alongside her, to understand more about their nutritional impact and to develop recipes that would support her body chemistry.
  • We directed the focus onto what she could rather than what she could not eat, so food once again could become rewarding, rather than punitive.
  • By cooking alongside Martha, the process once again became pleasurable and doable. She rediscovered her confidence and satisfaction in the process of cooking as equally important as what she was eating.

The focus in this work was on engaging Martha's curiosity and imagination to develop her culinary skill with nutritional knowledge. This meant changing her eating habits became a rewarding rather than punitive process.

A couple managing a life-cycle upheaval

After birth of their first child, Paul and Simone found all their caring energy was being directed at their son, leaving them feeling loss of attention from one another. Kitchen therapy helped them to rebuild their relationship by:

  • Using food as an exploratory tool, allowing us to understand and connect with their inner worlds
  • Becoming aware of each others’ specific issues and needs around food meant this could be a focus for looking after each other
  • Both enjoying cooking meant we could see food as a gift, carrying with it their time, care and attention. Daily meals became an opportunity to feel and express love for one another.

As Paul and Simone were experienced cooks, we spent our session time mainly thinking through issues and deciding how cooking and eating in their own homes, could continue therapeutic practice.

Mother and Daughter bonding

The stresses of teenage years had distanced Grace from her daughter, Becky. They came into Therapy Kitchen to enjoy spending time together, exploring their individual issues with food. Our sessions offered:

  • A neutral space in which they could both learn and support one another in this.
  • Enjoying making good food together gave a new basis for communication.
  • By learning alongside one another and once again listening to each other, they were able to re-establish their relationship as Becky made the transition into womanhood.

Our work in this case, was all about them making foods they needed, enjoyed making and were proud to share with the rest of the family.