Specializing in ARFID
Many children become picky about their feeding around the age of two. This is normal. It can be labeled fussy eating. ARFID or Avoidant|Restrictive Food Intake Disorder is different. It’s a phobia. ARFID can also be called Selective Eating Disorder or SED. ARFID can be carried on into teenage years and into adulthood. Both children and adults can get treatment for ARFID.
ARFID or SED can be a negative response to food for a variety of reasons. Eating these foods is nearly impossible for the sufferer. It can cause them to gag or vomit. Like any phobia the response does not make sense to the sufferer, and it is not something they choose, It is an automatic response. Often, the sufferer knows this is irrational. The frustration can be overwhelming.
Hypnosis can work extremely well with phobias and ARFID is treatable and fixable. Generally the phobia is present for one of a few reasons:
A negative memory or experience with food (trauma from choking is an example)
a situation where a person felt out of control (sudden move as a child or difficulty changing schools) and food was something that the child or person WAS able to control
The person may have some sensory aversion already to food, and it has grown over time due to a variety of factors (pressure, forced feedings, feeling shame or guilt) and now the anxiety has grown and now things feel out of control.
Either way, it is imperative to get to the root of the problem before attempting to solve it.
Hypnosis allows the therapist to work with the person’s unconscious to bring about change. We work with the part of the brain that has shut down to provide protection. Hypnosis is more gentle than exposure therapy, although at times a person could do both. It gets to the root of the problem and is safe. Many find it very enjoyable and relaxing. Nothing will make someone find all foods wonderful, but the goal is to open patients up to feel safe experimenting and tasting food, and to bring a sense of peace and happiness back to eating.
This is a no pressure environment. The idea is to reduce anxiety, not create more. Low pressure and low stress during healing. Children typically gain the most benefit when they are over the age of 10. Generally it takes 5 total sessions to see results, and there is often a maintenance time period after the initial session to ensure that gains are not lost.
Contact Kelly for your free consult today. She can answer your questions and help you determine if this is the right choice for you in your recovery process.