Does your child or do you suffer from Selective Eating Disorder or Avoidant, Restrictive, Food Intake Disorder? Will they only eat white food or a select few foods? Are you in a constant battle trying to get them to eat vegetables or meat so they can be healthy? ARFID is often misunderstood as fussy eating, but is is a phobia. Like any phobia it is an automatic response and unfortunately isn't something the sufferer can control. ARFID can be treated successfully with hypnotherapy.


A phobia is a heightened anxiety and for those with ARFID eating 'unsafe' foods can lead to anxiety symptoms. Foods that are considered 'unsafe' may be have a certain texture, smell, colour, brand or taste and can make them gag or vomit. Generally those with ARFID do not look unhealthy but the lack of vegetables or particular food groups in the diet can be very concerning for the parent.

Most of these kids (and I say kids as it's more common in children and sufferers can progress into adulthood and lose the disorder) develop the disorder around 18 months old. It is usually for one of two reasons:​

Father and Daughter Having Breakfast
  • They have had an experience with food where they felt unsafe. This may have been as a baby or toddler. As an adult, when food goes down the wrong way we understand and deal with it, but as a baby or toddler this can feel as if they are going to die. It's unlikely they will remember the event but a 'safety' mechanism is put in place to prevent them eating 'unsafe' foods.

  • They felt out of control because of some big life change such as moving house, a new pre-school or a change in the family. They react by controlling the one thing they can control: food.

Hypnotherapy works by talking to the unconscious to bring about change. It's about convincing the unconscious they can still be safe if they eat different foods. While Cognitive Therapies work from the mind to the unconscious, hypnosis works from the unconscious to the mind.

Adults and children can suffer from any number of phobias from fear of flying to fear of small spaces. Hypnotherapy has proven to be successful in bringing about positive change for all sorts of sufferers. As an anxiety specialist I work with many different phobias in my clinic, phobia being an extreme anxiety.

SED can go hand-in-hand with autism. Hypnotherapy can work with children with autism, not to change autism but to help with their eating disorder.

EMDR is used if the child has an actual trauma memory associated with food and can be highly successful in removing the fearful feelings which paves the way for hypnotherapy.















While doing hypnotherapy sometimes immersion and exposure through the imagination can be used, and this can be a gentler approach than traditional exposure therapies. Once they are ready, and without pressure, we will have them eat their previously 'unsafe' foods. 

Most kids are anxious at the beginning of their first session, but I find most relax and respond well and even enjoy the treatment. I have both adult and child focussed programs.


Diana Joy Hypnotherapy


Hypnosis ARFID SED Kids