Why Not?

I’ve often found myself asking my clients a similar question at the start of our work together. It will typically be whether recovery is something they believe they can’t do, shouldn’t do, or don’t deserve.

They are often surprised by this question, but will admit there is something blocking them from truly believing they can exist without their eating disorder. Shifting this belief is a key component to ending eating disorder behaviors and having lasting recovery.

Permission slips

Frequently, when people come to therapy, they are asking for a permission slip to listen to their own intuition. They want to make sure it’s okay to make their own decisions. They want reassurance that it is okay to go against other people’s expectations and make a choice that feels right for them.

Yet, therapy isn’t about therapists writing permission slips. It’s about tapping into your own self-trust to give yourself permission to make a change.

As therapists, we ask questions that encourage our clients to rethink their limitations, beliefs, and quality of relationships. Yes, sometimes with a little directive nudging. For many, it is a very new experience to be given this space.

In therapy, one is encouraged to think out loud and consider what it is they want. And they get to do this without the perspective from a friend or family member’s self-interest involved, no matter how well-intentioned. 

So, why not?

A simple ‘Why Not’ can highlight a limiting belief that hadn’t yet been challenged. Limiting beliefs are driven by fear and anxiety. It can be very difficult to have a happy and fulfilling life if all of your decisions are made from a fear-based place.

I encourage us all to ask ourselves ‘Why Not?’ when we find our brains telling us “You can’t”, “You shouldn’t”, or “I don’t want to do this”. Ask ‘Why Not’ and listen for the answer; check it out with someone you trust, and challenge assumptions.

It’s ok to write your own permission slips. Why Not?


 If you would like to learn more about working with an Evolve clinician, we offer a complimentary 15-minute call.



Written by Cora Keene, LMFT

Evolve founder, Shrein Bahrami, wrote a book on EWG’S approaches to healing an eating disorder. Check it out here!