Anne Katherine: "I pay daily attention to developing my inner self"

Welcome to another episode of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask short questions of interesting people and request short answers in return. Today’s participant is a therapist who is the author of nine books, one of which ("Boundaries") is approaching a quarter million in sales. Remember, please: No counting. “10 words” is an attitude, not a rule, and besides, let’s see you do it.

Therapist, author Anne KatherineName: Anne Katherine
Born when, where “In Indiana. I’m in my mid-60s.” [Befitting someone keen on boundaries, Katherine is careful about what specific personal information she allows online.]
A transformative event in your childhood “Girl Scout Camp. It taught me that women could be strong, gave me survival skills that I still rely on and lifelong friends who are a treasure.”
Where do you live now, and how long have you been there? “Washington State, surrounded by water. I’ve lived here since 1985.”
What did you want to be when you grew up “In my 20s, I wanted to go around the country singing songs that would inspire people to be more spiritual.”
Claim to fame “I think other people would say my books, but I'd say it's that I pay daily attention to developing my inner self.”
Can you say a little more about that? “I value a person developing their ability to observe themselves, so they’re catching on to their subtle patterns, especially those that affect the people they love.”
Are you an addict? "Yes."
What’s your drug of no choice? “Sugar.”

The difference between compulsive eating and food addiction? “Compulsive eating can be driven by parts of the brain that aren’t involved in addiction.”
Is the distinction important? “It is, because the non-addictive parts of the brain that drive eating are easier to fix, by far.”
How many food addicts are there in America? “More than 50 percent of Americans are overweight, so something’s going on. How many eating-disordered people are actually food addicts? I’d say a large percentage. If you know what you’re supposed to do and are unable to do it, then the brain is driving that behavior.”
A food you miss “You know, I don’t even think that way anymore. There’s plenty of food I enjoy.”
The biggest difference you see in psychology today “There’s an entirely new wave of super-effective theories and principles that only a small percentage of therapists are using. The majority of therapists are operating out of an old system that is not as effective.”
Something people don’t understand “If they make room for their feelings instead of defending against them, they will feel better.”
What do you spend most of your time on “Writing. I’m writing three books right now.”
A great thing about being a writer “It allows access to some inner world of creativity where there’s this amazing flow. Sometimes it feels as if I’m just taking dictation from some universal mind.”
Its biggest drawback, for you “When I’m deep in the writing, it’s like I’m in a cave. I’m not quite on the earth. My friends have learned to recognize when I’m in that state and not to take it personally.”
Your most recent book? Penumbra 2, A Soul’s Journey.”
What’s it about? “It’s a story about past lives I’ve inhabited, and it shows how we’re offered second, third and even fourth chances to fix our past mistakes.”
The one thing you wish people would get right: “To connect with themselves, every day, so they have access to their own inner answers.”


Author and wellness innovator Michael Prager helps smart companies
make investments in employee wellbeing that pay off in corporate success.
Video | Services | Clients