Weight loss, work-life balance (workaholism)


Jim was a perfectionist and had serious difficulties maintaining adaptive work-life boundaries. This created significant strain on his marriage, made him an absentee parent, and interacted negatively with his health and weight. He had intimacy issues with his wife and had a sexless marriage as a result of his workaholism, difficulties with boundaries, and weight.


In Jim’s childhood environment, we identified two non-nurturing elements: significant poverty in early childhood and attachment traumas in the form of disrupted relationships with his mother. The latter, due to his mother’s need to work constantly and her multiple, live-in partners, who functioned as pseudo fathers, but then left. Non-nurturing elements germinate in later life, becoming limiting beliefs and their associated dysfunctional needs.


Jim was treated with Shift’s classic therapeutic protocol for 31 sessions. We first conducted an intake session, which included goal setting. This session was followed by identifying limiting beliefs, and then psychoeducation on the limiting beliefs, dysfunctional needs and maladaptive responses. After the first three insight-oriented sessions, he reprocessed seven limiting beliefs, over the remaining 28 sessions. Jim self-identified the relevant limiting beliefs based on session check-ins. Goals and the outcome progress was evaluated with scaling questions on an ongoing basis, as well as with a limiting belief master list.


Jim demonstrated relatively steady progress throughout treatment, especially after session three. His original goals included removing blocks related to ability to delegate, prioritize multiple life areas, and increase his capacity for consistency. The removal of a cluster of limiting beliefs related to a constant need to strive and be exceptional, globally, resulted in better prioritization and time management abilities. Jim also experienced lower blood pressure, loss of 28 pounds, and lower stress levels.

He was able to designate regular quality time to his children weekly, and found concrete improvements in their quality of relationship. His marriage improved drastically in multiple areas. Jim and his wife began having regular, in-depth pleasant conversations at least three times a week, chose a shared hobby, began to feel, according to both, “connected again.” Consequently, their intimacy improved, and Jim ended therapy with the perspective that his marriage was now secure and regarding. In summation, Jim was able to address his workaholism, repair relationships with his wife and children, gain more satisfaction from life overall, and take control of his weight and health.


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Case study 2: Work-life balance & weight loss

Presenting Concerns:

Jim* is a middle aged man, in a high stress professional career. He had battled with weight issues, yo-yo dieting, binging and consecutive years of weight gain. His weight had significantly impacted his mobility, lifestyle, energy levels and psychological health.

* All names and all identifying information have been altered. Case studies are posted with client permission.