ARFID treatment - how hypnotherapy can help you heal

ARFID, known also as avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, is an eating disorder where a person is particular with their food. You may think that you are just a fussy eater, however, ARFID is much more than that. 


What is ARFID?

ARFID is characterised by a feeding disturbance that is not attributable to another eating disorder or another mental health disorder. The eating pattern is not because of a lack of food or a religious practice. 

It differs from Anorexia and Bulimia in that there is not a preoccupation with body size, shape and weight. You will be nutrient deficient and will have to supplement your food intake. 

What are the symptoms of ARFID?

You might notice one or more than one of the following:

  • No interest in food.
  • You genuinely can’t eat some foods, or types of foods or even whole food groups. For example slimy foods like mushrooms, or any vegetable.  
  • You are particular in how food is presented, like you can’t stand food touching another food. 
  • Eating certain foods makes you feel sick, gag or choke. Or there is a fear of those responses. 
  • You are very sensitive to the smell, taste or texture of certain foods. It is offputting.
  • Eating, especially social eating, is not fun at all. 

What are the causes of ARFID in adults? 

There is not one attributable cause. It is prevalent with neurodiversity such as being on the autism spectrum and/or ADHD. Genetics could play a part. Traumatic incidents could contribute, especially if you were a child. If you were fed through a feeding tube or did not have the opportunities to hold and play with food, you could develop ARFID within the first two years of life. A child could be overly sensitive to sensory food items. 

In adults, there may have been feeding problems present when you were a child but other traumatic incidents could then play a further part. 

How can hypnotherapy support ARFID treatment in adults?

When you visit a therapist, it can be hard to know where to start. All you want is for your eating to be better so that you can enjoy eating and enjoy eating with others. 

These are the ways hypnotherapy can help you:


You learn to relax the part of the brain that is keeping you stuck in the food patterns. By relaxing the conscious brain which tells us what to do, and puts rules on our eating by saying we should eat a certain way, we can become more open to positive suggestions. 


We reframe your food rules. We explore them, help to change them and play with changing them. We change the language you use around foods. 


We desensitise to our disliked foods by introducing them very slowly and getting comfortable with them before you try them, all at your own pace. 


Before trying new foods, you can visualise foods that you want to start eating. Visualise how you want to be in social settings and how you want your life to be around food. 

Release trauma

If we do not deal with the original trauma, it will still contribute to our eating patterns. We explore it if we can. Help you to process it so it does not trouble you as much as it did. By releasing the hurt and perceptions of the past, it allows you to form a new version of you. 

If you believe you have ARFID, it may also benefit you to seek advice from other healthcare providers such as dieticians who are experienced in ARFID

If you would like help with treating ARFID, or want to learn more about how hypnotherapy could help you find peace with your eating, don't hesitate to get in touch

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Sunbury-On-Thames, Surrey, TW16
Written by Vanessa McLennan, Weight loss,Eating problems,Binge Eating Hypno-psychotherapy
Sunbury-On-Thames, Surrey, TW16

Vanessa specialises in eating problems, such as Binge Eating, ARFID, Emotional Eating, food addiction and weight loss. She uses psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, EFT, EMDR, CBT, and naturopathy. She has an avid interest in health and wellbeing. She loves helping people heal their past on a deeper level so they become more in control of their eating.

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