It's never about the food...
Using Hypnotherapy I have worked effectively with people with anorexia nervosa, bulimia, food obsession, compulsive eating and binge eating .
In treating eating disorders, Hypnotherapy is far more effective than traditional talk therapy because it enables you to access the powerful Subconscious mind (SC). The SC mind represents 90-95% of a person’s potential mind power.
In order to understand how Hypnosis works for treating eating disorders, it is important to understand the characteristics of the SC mind.
The Sc is:
Illogical--- this means the SC does not understand things the same way the rational, conscious mind does. For example, a person with an eating disorder may “know” consciously that they need to eat to survive. However, if the SC mind has a different agenda around food or a fear about food, weight etc., the SC mind will override the logical mind. As it is the largest part of the mind, it always wins out. Example: a compulsive eater knows that she is going to feel uncomfortable and sick after a binge and that she will hate herself and feel guilt and shame when the binge is over. She has a history of feeling this way. However, because on a SC level there is a feeling that the food will create a good feeling (or help to avoid feeling a painful emotion) the client is compelled to eat anyway---despite her “knowing” she simply has no control over the behavior.
Protective--- The primary function of the SC mind is to protect you. However, being illogical it sometime responds to threat when there is none, reacts to past events that are no longer occurring or uses coping mechanisms that are actually harmful. Example: a young woman gets positive attention when she loses some weight after dieting. On a SC level, it feels good to get that attention. The SC then drives the woman to develop anorexia nervosa in order to lose more weight as a way of seeking that positive attention. The desire for attention is a healthy desire. But the SC , being illogical, chooses an unhealthy way, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia, to meet the need as it does not “know” better.
What does this all mean?
A person with an eating disorder cannot be “talked” out of their disorder. If that was all it took, then there would BE no such thing as eating disorders!
In the case of an eating disorder, there is a REASON why the person has developed the relationship with food that they have---whether it is a means of control, a way to get attention, a way to have something unique to identify with, a way to rebel against someone else’s control etc ..
This reason for the eating disorder may or may not be understood by the person on a conscious level.
However, by reaching the SC mind, the client can:
Understand what lies behind the disordered thinking and eating
Work to change the SC beliefs, fears and patterns
Adopt healthier ways of thinking and acting
Accept suggestions for meeting healthy needs in healthy ways
My work with a person with disordered eating, therefore, focuses on identifying the cause of the problem on a SC level and then helping to re-educate the SC so that the problem is no longer maintained. Sometimes there are several causes which I think of as “layers to the onion” and, because of this, the therapy may take a bit longer than with other goals. However, when compared to traditional talk therapy, time spent working on eating disorders and compulsive eating in hypnosis is relatively quick