Rebecca Cooper

25151 Calle Alondra Lake Forest, California
Phone: (949) 280-6606

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We Can Make a Difference

Eliphas Daudi sent me another email today. He made me realize that even in a brief time each one of us can touch someone’s life and make a difference. Being present to the opportunities around us can change you and another person. I was so impressed with Eliphas when I met him at Tumani Junior School in Africa last year. Tumaini Junior School is a private non-profit primary school in Karatu where all grades, nursery through 7th, are taught in English. Recognizing the importance of teaching the English language to help train the future leaders of Tanzania, founder Modest Bayo and his wife, Lightness, set up their first classroom in their small home with 17 four and five year olds in 2004. With no outside financial help but aided by various community members, they dug trenches, laid foundations, mixed mortar, set bricks and built the building by hand. Today there are nearly 500 pupils, both boarding and day students, at Tumaini — still the only primary school in the village of Karatu that teaches in English. There is a great video about the school at https://vimeo.com/103253819. Eliphas asked me to help him get more information so he could help his students with physical and psychological challenges. When I got home I contacted a colleague who had the information he needed about autism. I sent him articles, research and web links. That began our inspiring connection. He has such a passion to help others that I wanted to help him. Although he had little time with all he was already doing for the students I... Read More

Peaceful Muslims Unite

This is one of the best explanations of the Muslim terrorist situation I have ever read. His references to past history are accurate and clear. Not long, easy to understand, and well worth the read. The author of this email is Dr. Emanuel Tanya, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist. A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. 'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come.’ ‘My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.' ‘We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is a religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectre of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.’ ‘The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at... Read More

Sugar Addiction Revealed

  Can you say "No?" When I was invited to attend the Food Addiction and Obesity Summit in Brainbridge, Washington in 2009 I had no idea that it would change my life forever. This conference intrigued my curiosity for research and shaped my approach to treating binge eating disorder, obesity, eating disorders and addiction. The Summit invited 1/3 researchers and scientists, 1/3 medical doctors and 1/3 healthcare clinicians who work with patients with eating disorders. See a list of presenters here. At the end of each day, participants broke into small groups keeping the same ratio of scientists, doctors and clinicians to discuss the findings of the day’s presentations. The conclusions and recommendations from these breakout sessions were featured in the summit proceedings. It was amazing to watch the process as each member discussed similar results within their own disciplines. The researcher presented his results, the medical doctor and clinicians discussed similar results in their patients, and the scientists explained how these human behaviors and symptoms were mimicked in their trials with animals.The combined research, experience and knowledge provided so much more awareness about how refined foods are causing food addictions and our obesity epidemic. Throughout the years I have received criticism from other professionals who don’t subscribe to the addiction philosophy. They believe everything in moderation is ok. In my many years of treating people with disordered eating I know for a fact that not all people can drink alcohol in moderation and I believe there are some people who have a similar problem with some foods. Throughout... Read More

References for Talks

References From Rebecca Cooper, LMFT, LPCC, CEDS Genetics “I identified in 1990 the first gene in alcohol addiction. Specifically, we found the A1 allele (the minor form) of the D2 dopamine receptor (DRD2) gene to be associated with addiction. We researched the brain characteristics of the subjects who had the DRD2 A1 allele. To do that, we carried out a pharmacological study on the brains of deceased individuals who had or did not have the A1 allele. What we found was that subjects with the A1 allele, regardless of whether they were that of alcoholics or controls, had fewer D2 dopamine receptors than those who lacked this allele. To compensate for this deficiency state, individuals used their addictive substance to release brain dopamine and activate their few dopamine receptors, which would activate their brain dopamine reward or pleasure system. Some foods significantly increases brain dopamine levels.” -- Ernest Noble, MD, PhD. Consumption of high volumes of natural rewards like foods that are high fat/sugar dense increase Delta FOSB proteins that effects the brain reward system and enhances motivation for more (binge-eating, craving). ΔFosB is a highly stable protein which produce lasting changes in gene expression. Dr. Eric Nestler of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine on NIMH radio. Neurobiology Low functioning of the dopamine reward circulatory may cause individuals to overeat to compensate for this low reward deficit, which through conditioning produces greater anticipatory food reward and heightened development of the somatosensory cortex. STICE, SPOOR, BOHON, VELDHUIZEN, AND SMALL. Relation of Reward From Food Intake and... Read More

A Day in the Life of a Bulimic

  Most people have no idea what it is really like to suffer with an eating disorder. They think it is the need to be skinny. They think the person with bulimia nervosa could quit if they really wanted to. “Just don’t do that” is a phrase repeated by family members, friends and some therapists. There is so much misunderstanding of this complex disorder that I am going to bring you into the mind of a person in the depths of the disorder. You will never view the disorder in the same way after reading this. If you relate to this story know it is common to many more people than you realize. But most important I want you to know that with help even this person recovered . . . fully.  The way I learned to deal with my feelings was not to feel. One of the ways I learned to do this was to think of something different. For instance, I looked forward to getting some candy from the little store on my way home from school. I would get a cola soft drink and a frosted pastry or candy. I always felt better when I ate that. Little did I know that I was opening a floodgate of addiction with this newly learned coping behavior.  I gained weight and decided to go on a diet. I would go for days eating nothing or very little. I lost a lot of weight, but no one said anything about it. Then there were days... Read More

Trail Blazers for Eating Disorders

Rebecca Cooper Featured as an Eating Disorder Trailblazer Rebecca Cooper is recognized for her methods, advocacy, and years of helping people with eating disorders at Rebecca's House. Her methods are outlined in her book Diets Don't Work.

Christmas Past

Every year as the Holidays approach I think back on the Christmases of past years. I imagine other people do the same. This can invoke feelings of joy or sorrow. I chose to focus on the positive ones because that is what I want to remember about this Christmas in future years. I know I can make this holiday what I want depending on what I chose to focus on and the attitude I take towards people, situations and events. In some of the past years I didn’t know I had the ability to make this Christmas the one I wanted to remember with joy next Christmas. I succumbed to the melancholy of the first negative thought that came to my mind and spent much of the season ruminating on my sorrows. It is sad to remember my loved ones who are no longer with me. I have had a lot of loss in my life. I lost my father at 4 ½ and my mother was not able to cope with two little girls so we grew up with our grandparents. I lost my Grandpaw the summer of the sixth grade and my Grandmaw on my 16th birthday. Life growing up was not easy. I do however remember good times during those years in spite of the heartache in my life then. One of the best Christmas I remember was also at one of the lowest parts of my life. It was after Grandpaw died on November 22nd and Grandmaw was so sad she... Read More

The Keys Semi-Starvation Study

Ancel Keys wanted to find out the physical and psychological effects of what happens to the human body when it starves and how it recovers from starvation. He thought his information would be useful if the soldiers were captured in the war and they reached the point of starvation. Keys conducted a study to determine the effects of food restriction. His results were amazing. We know that restriction causes weight loss but look at all the other symptoms of the experiment. They are classic eating disorder symptoms. The study shows that restricting food affects us not only physically, but psychologically and behaviorally as well.  Note that even after the subjects started eating normally the psychological and behavioral effects remained. The experiment involved carefully studying 36 young, healthy, psychologically normal men while restricting their caloric intake for 6 months. More than 100 men volunteered for the study as an alternative to military service; the 36 selected had the highest levels of physical and psychological health, as well as the most commitment to the objectives of the experiment. What makes the "starvation study" (as it is commonly known) so important is that many of the experiences observed in the volunteers are the same as those experienced by patients with eating disorders. This section of this chapter is a summary of the changes observed in the Minnesota study. During the first 3 months of the semi-starvation experiment, the volunteers ate normally while their behavior, personality, and eating patterns were studied in detail. During the next 6 months, the... Read More

Addictions and Food

Over the years I have been asked if there is such a thing as food addiction. First, let’s look at what is an addiction? Here is one definition:  An addiction causes people to engage in a recurring activity that causes harm to the person. It is often described as a compulsion to engage in some specific activity to produce mood-altering experiences, and this experience has life-damaging consequences. Addictions often have both physical and psychological components. There is discomfort upon quitting the addiction. Most people would not overindulge in anything that hurts them physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. With addiction, one or more of these areas are negatively affected. Now look at how addiction can relate to food. Ask yourself these questions: Does your eating behavior create a problem in your life, but you continue to do the same thing over and over? Do you eat to change how you feel? Do thoughts of food, weight and body size enter your mind at unrelated times? Do you feel out of control with your eating? Are you afraid to start eating something because you are afraid you cannot stop? Do you obsess about eating certain foods? Do you find yourself eating when you had resolved not to eat? Do you eat more than you want to? Do you use other activities or substances to stop your eating behaviors? Not long ago, there was a potato chip ad that challenged, “Betcha can’t eat just one!” Many took on the challenge and lost. Food manufacturers have done an exquisite... Read More

Savannah to Atlanta

My trip to Savannah to be on TV is another adventure. I still love the south. People are so nice here and seem to be more centered than the hustle and bustle of California. It’s funny that I say that because I have carved out a sanctuary for myself right in my back yard that I become more centered in the mornings. It is true that it matters less of where you are physically than it does mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Maybe it is just easier when I am away from the daily routines and stresses of everyday life. Maybe it is because I realize how important it is for me to be centered when I am trying to bring awareness to the devastating illness of eating disorders. I can’t believe I actually will get in front of the cameras and the nervousness goes away as I focus of the importance of the message. Even if one person hears something that gives them pause to reevaluate their relationship with food and them Self it is worth it. Having such a mission is exciting. I never imagined that the worse thing I encountered in my life would also become my greatest gift. If I did not know first hand how crippling eating disorders were I would not be so passionate about helping others to avoid these pitfalls. The general public does not even know what an eating disorder is. They think it is someone starving them Self to be thin or someone who should just say... Read More

Featured Events

Oct 16, 2015 - Oct 19, 2015
World Federation for Mental Health 2015 in Cairo, Egypt: Rebecca Cooper is invited to speak about diets, eating disorders and food addictions at The World…
Apr 28, 2015 - Apr 30, 2015
Sharing Eating Disorder Treatment Information in France: The 2015 International Mental Health Congress will be held in Lille, France. This year's topic…
Jun 09, 2015
Meeting of the MInds Mental Health Conference: MHA provides all of its services in a supportive environment within the context of a…

Recent Blog Post

Sep 07, 2015
We Can Make a Difference: Eliphas Daudi sent me another email today. He made me realize that even in a brief…
Jan 21, 2015
Peaceful Muslims Unite: This is one of the best explanations of the Muslim terrorist situation I have ever…

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Dec 19, 2016
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