Family Hypnotherapy for Extreme Fussy Eaters: A Holistic Approach 

Family hypnotherapy for extreme fussy eaters 29
Family hypnotherapy for extreme fussy eaters

Family hypnotherapy is a viable option for families who have an extreme fussy eater.  As a dietitian and hypnotherapist committed to a holistic approach, I deeply understand the multifaceted challenges surrounding feeding difficulties, particularly when they extend beyond mere fussy eating. Families grappling with extreme fussy eaters or children diagnosed with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) often face overwhelming concerns. These challenges not only impact nutrition and physical health but also take a toll on the emotional well-being of both children and parents.

The severity of these food-related difficulties can result in inadequate weight gain, poor growth, and developmental delays. Compounding matters, they are often intertwined with various other conditions such as anxiety, OCD, autism, and ADHD. As these children transition into adulthood, it raises concerns about whether they will be able to socialise comfortably around food, recognise their hunger cues, have the capacity to feed themselves with structure, derive genuine enjoyment from meals, and possess the necessary skills to explore food without fear.

Understanding the Causes and Challenges

The causes of extreme fussy eating and ARFID are diverse, ranging from genetic predispositions to psychosocial factors. Medical conditions like food allergies or chronic constipation, sensory sensitivities, and traumatic events such as choking incidents can exacerbate the problem. Moreover, children with conditions like ADHD may find it challenging to sit through meals, further complicating the feeding process.

Traditional treatments typically involve intensive therapy and family involvement. However, hypnosis offers a unique approach that complements existing strategies by addressing the root causes of difficulties while fostering a positive relationship with food.

Benefits of Family Hypnosis for Children

  • Mindset Transition: Hypnosis, along with related techniques such as guided imagery and cognitive reframing, assists children in shifting from self-doubt (“I cannot”) to a relaxed state (“the body can and does without the mind getting in the way “) conducive to envisioning overcoming difficulties. These modalities aim to help children overcome mental barriers and cultivate a more positive outlook towards challenges.

  • Dietary Improvement: Hypnosis can help alter perceptions of taste and texture, making previously disliked foods more palatable. It aids in exploring bodily sensations to either reduce them (e.g., in cases with no medical cause such as FAP) or activate sensations like hunger in children who may not typically experience it.

  • Management of Anxiety and Other Issues: Hypnosis is effective for addressing anxiety, toileting issues, sleep disruptions, bodily sensations and discomfort and more. Through hypnotherapy, triggers can be identified and addressed, allowing children to gradually develop a more relaxed attitude towards eating and other challenges.

Supporting Parents Through Family Hypnotherapy

Feeding difficulties also significantly impact the entire family dynamic. Parents often experience stress, anxiety, and frustration, leading to feelings of helplessness and overwhelm. Hypnotherapy can offer much-needed support for parents, helping them manage their emotions and approach mealtimes with a sense of calm and confidence.

Through hypnosis, parents can learn techniques to reduce stress and anxiety, enabling them to create a positive feeding environment for their child. By addressing their own emotional triggers and fears related to feeding, parents can better support their child’s journey towards healthier eating habits.

A Holistic Approach to Healing

At the heart of my practice lies a holistic approach to healing. By integrating hypnotherapy with nutrition counselling and parenting support, I aim to address feeding difficulties comprehensively. Every family is unique, and I tailor my approach to meet the specific needs and goals of each individual.

Virtual Sessions for Family Hypnotherapy

In today’s digital age, virtual therapy sessions offer a convenient and accessible option for families seeking support. From the comfort of their own homes, families can participate in hypnotherapy sessions, eliminating the need for travel and providing greater flexibility with scheduling. Furthermore, virtual sessions allow for increased opportunities for parent and family coaching, fostering a collaborative approach to treatment.


Elsternwick Rooms or Home Sessions

Family hypnotherapy is available and can be tailored to children with special needs. Recognising this, I offer home sessions tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual, ensuring that therapy is accessible and comfortable within the familiar environment of the family’s home. These home sessions are particularly beneficial for children with special needs who may thrive better in familiar surroundings and find it challenging to adapt to new environments. Additionally, for families who are part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), these home sessions may be covered under their plan, providing them with essential support without the added stress of travel. Families will need a quiet space, for example in a lounge, and a place where the person undergoing hypnotherapy can lie down or sit comfortably.

However, for those who prefer in-person sessions or live nearby, I also offer sessions in my rooms located in Elsternwick.  These sessions provide a dedicated space where families can receive personalised care and support, fostering a sense of comfort and security while addressing their unique needs. Whether at home or in my rooms, my goal remains the same: to provide comprehensive support and interventions that empower families and children with special needs to thrive and reach their full potential.

Feeding difficulties, particularly ARFID, present significant challenges for families. However, with the right support and interventions, children can overcome their aversions to food and develop healthier eating habits. Hypnotherapy offers a valuable tool in this process, addressing the underlying psychological factors contributing to ARFID while promoting a positive relationship with food. Through a holistic approach that encompasses nutrition, emotional support, and hypnotherapy, families can navigate feeding challenges with greater resilience and success. Is it time you had a chat with me? Why not click here.

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