Welcome to Circle of HOPE ~ a one-of-a-kind, global online community for people struggling to overcome Binge Eating, Compulsive Overeating, Emotional Eating, and Chronic Yo-Yo Dieting. Our goal for this very special community is to provide an emotionally safe, judgment-free zone where you have access to the latest, innovative education & support that will transform your relationship with food, your body, your Self, and others…allowing you to create Full Recovery from the inside-out.
All from the comfort of your own home, and on your schedule!
Our community is led by "The Deeper Work" Doctors, Dr. Julie & Dr. Ashley, internationally-recognized specialists in the field of Emotional Eating, Binge Eating, Overeating, and related struggles (think anxiety, trauma, and challenging family systems). With 46+ years of combined experience successfully treating and resolving disordered eating, we have become the go-to experts in the field of eating issues because of our in-depth understanding of what’s REALLY going on under the psychological surface of your compulsive use of food.
We KNOW your desire to overeat is not simply about food, and we know the solution cannot be found in diets and exercise! Rather, we’ll help you connect-the-dots in our signature approach, "The Deeper Work," so that you can understand how your relationship with your emotions and your Self has everything to do with your relationship with food.
Dr. Julie T. Anné is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Eating Disorder Expert with 30 years of experience as an internationally recognized specialist. Dr. Julie is a frequent media guest whose expertise is featured on network, radio, cable & podcast platforms. Dr. Julie was a featured eating disorder specialist on E! network's acclaimed docu-series, "What's Eating You?" and she worked with the cast of abc's Extreme Make-Over: Weight Loss Edition. Recognized for her exemplary work in the field of Eating Disorders, Dr. Julie was invited to join the esteemed Faculty of Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in 2018, where she serves as a Consultant and Guest Lecturer in the area of eating disorders.
You will never meet a more enthusiastic, passion-driven professional than Dr. Julie! Dr. Julie is known for her infectious brand of HOPE, her warm heart, and her unwavering commitment to the healing process which she brings to every person she embraces through her educational and inspirational work.
Insightful, innovative, creative and determined, Dr. Julie helps you to "connect the dots" between your seemingly "bizarre" eating behavior and the many understandable hidden emotional pieces that created - and continue to drive - your need to overeat.
With empathy and compassion that comes from having walked a similar path, Dr. Julie helps you to understand the parts of your Self that needed food to emotionally survive and helps you to embrace vs judge the parts that still need to be supported and healed, so that your compulsive drive to overeat is no longer present.
Dr. Julie is THRILLED to now be able to educate and inspire people across the world who have requested to learn from her signature "The Deeper Work" approach to FULL and lasting recovery.
Through this exciting, members' community and educational format, Dr. Julie can now educate, cheerlead and celebrate alongside you, as you work on journeying into FULL recovery from disordered eating!
When Dr. Julie is not working to change the world, she is working to support her two incredible daughters or doing something that energizes her Spirit (typically alongside her daughters!) :) Dr. Julie LOVES adventure and is oftentimes found feeding her Soul by engaging in international trips, personal challenges, and fulfilling her many passions which include writing, photography, activism and nature.
I'm SO glad you are here. We are going to change your life - together! ~ Dr. Julie
Dr. Ashley Southard is a licensed marriage and family therapist and eating disorder expert with 19 years of clinical experience helping people recover from disordered eating, traumatic experiences, and relationship challenges. Helping people affected by Emotional and Binge Eating has been in Dr. Ashley's heart for a long time. In fact, she used to work for the Eating Disorders Coalition, lobbying on Capitol Hill for eating disorder legislation that would mandate insurance companies to cover comprehensive treatment for all types of disordered eating. In 2008, she was invited to serve as a Founding Board Member of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (now a part of the National Eating Disorders Association), where she helped turn a grassroots movement into a thriving international organization. Dr. Ashley is now living out her professional dream as Site Director and Clinical Therapist at Scottsdale, Arizona's premier outpatient treatment center, A New Beginning, and co-founded "The Deeper Work" for Full Recovery with her amazing professional co-pilot and soul sister, Dr. Julie.
Dr. Ashley is both a scientist and an artist, skillfully weaving together cutting-edge clinical knowledge with compassion and heart to craft life-changing reparative experiences for people who, in their most vulnerable moments, have questioned if they're good enough or worthy of love. She lives for those "goosebump moments" with people when the proverbial dots connect, old patterns dissolve, and tears of relief are shed. And she couldn't be more excited (and grateful) for the opportunity to educate the WORLD about this deeper psychological work that brings a person to FULL recovery, helping to infuse more lives with passion, connection, and HOPE!
And how does this therapist/recovery warrior rejuvenate and inspire her own spirit? You'll likely find her playing a ruthless game of Uno with her daughter, chasing the beautiful desert sunsets with her camera, planning the next epic summer road trip with her family, or crafting graphic designs on her computer :)
You're not alone in this anymore. We're here WITH you! ~Dr. Ashley
Dr. Julie’s personable video series, “Nudge of Encouragement,” offers our members a gentle nudge to do the next, new piece of emotional, behavioral or psychological work that supports the FULL recovery process.
Dr. Ashley's fun video series, "Recovery Hacks," offering you quick tips and "tricks” to make your emotional eating recovery process easier.
Frequent posts from Dr. Julie & Dr. Ashley that offer education and inspiration, designed to lift you up and move you forward in your journey toward understanding and change.
Connection with Members vis-à-vis heartfelt sharing of the highs and lows of struggling with Emotional and Binge Eating and how each member is working to move forward in the emotional eating recovery process. Our members are some of the most compassionate people who offer loving, non-judgmental support to each other. Of course, interaction with members is completely optional and never expected or required.
Dr. Julie & Dr. Ashley credit their professional success and international following to their unique approach that effectively helps you "connect-the-dots" between your oftentimes frustrating and CONFUSING eating behavior (we know you really do want to eat "normally"), and the underlying "hidden pieces" that are frequently related to emotional, relational, and/or trauma issues that are unconsciously being "managed" through your relationship with food.
This is what we call, "The Deeper Work."
Through awareness, education, and encouragement, it IS possible to develop a healthy relationship with food! But first, it's necessary to understand the "hidden pieces" that can give rise to your seemingly unrelated compulsion to overeat.
Here's a brief sample of the many topics Dr. Julie & Dr. Ashley tackle in their weekly VideoCasts:
Vulnerability - We all want closeness, and we all fear closeness! Especially, if you have been wounded by people in your past. We discuss how approaching Life in an emotionally guarded manner can lead to feeling alone, misunderstood, not cared for, not loved (or lovable), or resentful toward others... making food a "safe" and reliable best friend. And, more importantly, we share what you can do to change that.
Living Life in a Passive vs. Empowered Manner - Do you speak up for your Self? Let others know your needs? Express hurt feelings when they occur in interpersonal relationships? Many times, when you do not express your true feelings, it makes you feel a lack of control in your life or a lack of value within your Self. This can lead to feelings of hurt, frustration, resentment, or the desire to retreat from others... leading to the use of food as a means to comfort your Self, cope, or "stuff" hurt or painful feelings.
Fear of Feeling - Did you grow up in a family where it was not emotionally or physically safe to express your feelings? Were you ridiculed for sharing delicate parts of your Self? Or, was there SO much anger, physical violence, or emotional rejection in your home environment, that you learned how to thwart your feelings as a means to survive... making you an Adult who is completely disconnected from your Self, and your Emotions? If so, you are NOT alone and you likely have absolutely no idea why you are overeating. This can make it really frustrating when you are asked, "What are you feeling when you reach for food?"
Fear of Intimacy - Many times, past traumatic experiences, in which you’ve been betrayed, abused, neglected, or significantly hurt, make it overwhelming or scary (at best) to fathom getting close to and trusting others in adulthood. Yet, as human beings, we are literally neurologically hard-wired to want close connection with people. This underlying push-pull can unconsciously drive you toward food, which can feel like a safe replacement that provides emotional and physical comfort, soothing, and satisfaction…without the risk of rejection, betrayal, or hurt.
Shame - Typically, people who struggle with emotional overeating feel an abundance of shame; shame for their emotions and needs, shame for their Body or weight, shame for their Self. This can be misunderstood as related solely to food-related behaviors, when oftentimes the experience of shame is related to earlier, underlying feelings about your value or your Self, which were created long before your eating behavior became problematic. In a gentle, empathic and compassionate manner, we explore this important topic throughout our VideoCasts, as it is a cornerstone issue to the building of Full Recovery.
Intuitive Eating – Quieting all of the diet and exercise “noise” in your head and returning to what feels right in YOUR mind, body, and soul is truly at the heart of crafting a peaceful and enjoyable relationship with food…otherwise known as Intuitive Eating. This way of relating to food, eating, and your body will feel starnge at first (maybe even impossible), but with the wisdom and compassionate support from our Intuitive Eating guru, Amy Reynolds, RD, CDE, you can learn how to let go of diets and trust your Body.
Curious what a VideoCast is like? Think Video + Podcast = Meaningful Education & Conversation that has the power to change your life forever. Here's a sample of two of our VideoCasts. The first VideoCast is an episode on "How People Pleasing Behavior is related to Emotional Eating."
The second VideoCast is a segment from a member-driven Q&A episode.
To watch more video clips from our weekly VideoCasts, check out our YouTube Channel: Online Educational Community Playlist.
We KNOW how difficult it can be to TRUST and to HOPE, once again, that someone will introduce you to something that will truly help you to transform long-standing behavior that oftentimes makes you feel shameful, out of control, "weak," like "something's wrong with me," or hopeless. Because you’ve tried so many things already, we know it feels risky to get your hopes up and believe that we’ll have anything new or different to offer.
But we do! Our educational videos and encouraging posts are like nothing you’ve ever experienced. We get to the heart of the matter, and we know that you will find the synergy and support of a safe, respectful community to be INSTRUMENTAL in your emotional growth and behavioral change!
Every week we laugh together, cry together, learn together, and grow together, and we hope you will be the next person to join us on this journey into fulfilling and lifelong change.
Every time a new member steps into the Circle of HOPE, we celebrate a dual event. You trusting us. And us having the surreal opportunity to reach yet another person with knowledge that we know will open your eyes and help change your behavior, from the inside out.
Thank you for trusting us with your vulnerable Self. We look forward to gently guiding you into life-enhancing change.
In heart & health,
Drs. Julie & Ashley!
PS - If you have more questions, please click here to read answers to our frequently asked questions. And if you still don't find what you're looking for, please contact us directly with your specific question. Lastly, please review the Terms & Conditions before joining Circle of HOPE. This Community is available to adults ages 18 and older.
Watch this 1-minute video that shows you how easy it is to become a member, and what the Community looks like once you’ve joined.