Disordered eating and difficulties with food can inflict considerable private suffering.
Particularly the more dramatic forms of eating disorder which include anorexia
( anorexia nervosa ) and bulimia
( bulimia nervosa )
Though Bulimia might be called over eating disorder and anorexia might be thought
of as starving yourself these are complex disordered eating patterns with complicated
emotional overtones which powerfully distort the sense of the self and body image
More commonly suffered by women, male anorexia now presents much more frequently
as desirable male body image comes increasingly as an issue. Bulimia and anorexia may
be experienced in combination or as separate behaviours by the same individual at
different times in their lives.
If you suffer from any of these very serious difficulties you will know how complex
the process is - how your thinking can be distorted around food awareness and body
sense - the torture of the associated rituals and the shame of concealment.
I have never met anyone with these complaints who believed that theirs was not a
severe, shameful and hopeless case. They are invariably astonished to discover how
far from the true extremes they really are - and how hopeful the prospect.
Nor do they realise how likely they are to turn the habit round within a reasonably
short time - in the hands of a capable and experienced practitioner - able to provide
the thoughtful and sympathetic direction, encouragement and support.
Much less serious are a range of common eating problems or bad eating habits or
unwise and erratic eating behaviours which - though affecting general health and
well-being and eroding these over the longer term - often remain at a sub-clinical
When however a person has become consciously overweight and wants to lose weight,
the capacity for natural weight control has usually been lost through a gradual
history of over eating. Busy pressurised lives often result in comfort eating or
stress eating or alternating patterns of starving yourself and then - in a rush
- overeating. At this stage, resort to unwise diet regimes can set weight loss
and eating seriously at odds. Often the sense of not eating enough is punctuated
by demoralising episodes of binge eating. Dieting then can then become a yo-yo process
- increasingly driven by desperation.
Thirdly there is a series of eating difficulties which maybe regarded as food disorders or
feeding disorder. These behaviours - exhibited by apparently picky eaters or fussy
eaters may be rooted in actual physical sensitivities. These food aversions may be
innate and experienced from childhood ( children with sensory integration disorder
commonly have these difficulties ).
These intimately experienced likes and dislikes need to be identified, respected
and handled very carefully. On the other hand they may be specific food phobias which
have been brought about by unrecognised events.
Eating difficulties of this type are often dismissed by others as mere food fads.
The eating behaviours themselves may be thought mistakenly to be self-absorbed or
manipulative. But adults or children depicted as the fussy eater or the picky
eater may well be struggling with an unsuspected condition which can lead to considerable
difficulty if treated in the wrong way
Whatever their type or severity, every difficulty is experienced in very individual
ways. Very careful analysis is required to reveal underlying patterns; the way they
are constructed, set in motion and maintained.
Cognitive behavioural analysis can identify the associated behaviours and mental
processes. Various devices - often including deep state hypnosis - can be used to
interrupt and transform the destructive pattern, creating space for a different awareness
to develop and other processes to run. Quite quickly sufferers find they can address
their difficulty with a new sense of calm.
More severe cases generally require combined Psychotherapy and Ericksonian hypnotherapy.
Ericksonian methods are very unusual - often incorporating seemingly mysterious
exercises - which take the mind to new places. The aim is to discover a way to achieve
effortless success. There is rarely a ready formula or band-aid solution - but with
more than 30 yrs experience brought to bear - transformation of these resistant patterns
can be surprisingly fast.