Dinner as a Laboratory for Change

I’m a huge fan of eating better, having more fun, feeling less burdened by cooking, and getting the conversational juices flowing at the table. But these aren’t the only changes that can happen at dinner. As a therapist, I’ve witnessed other types of transformation occur when families engage in the process of cooking and eating.

A family dinner is like an improvisatory theater performance or a laboratory experiment. The family shows up night after night, and as a group they can try out new ways of interacting with one another. Like actors in a troupe, they can try new behaviors, habits, and roles. A director (or a therapist) can provide a new setup or opening line to an improv, but then the troupe takes it ...

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