The mental mess of meals
Surprised to learn there’s a link between a food phobia and not being able to express yourself? Most people are, but in my world as a therapist, this isn’t an uncommon link to make.
Let me tell you a story about someone I’ve recently worked with. This lady contacted me about an eating issue. It started when she was in her twenties after she had experienced a tirade of abuse from a customer where she worked. Since then she had only eaten small quantities and only easy to swallow foods She mentioned how as a child she had been brought up to be seen and not heard, she’d never been allowed to express herself and, in her words, ‘always had to swallow down’ any opinions. She’d never been allowed a voice at home and at work. The traumatic episode of being shouted at whilst at work and not being able to respond, had reinforced that belief. She also described in detail how words got stuck in her throat whenever she tried to express an opinion or viewpoint to people.
Our subconscious minds are very powerful and can take things very literally. A throw away comment or one-off turn of phrase won’t have a huge impact but continually thinking – yes, words don’t have to be spoken out loud for our subconscious to listen – in such a way can cause problems. Her subconscious, which only ever wants to protect, listened to those words and took them literally. You can almost hear it saying, ‘well if there’s something stuck in her throat already, then she’d better not eat much, and we’d better make sure it’s easy to swallow so it slips down ok.’
A few sessions working together, using various different techniques, helped her to let go of those old messages and links her mind had established. She was able to express herself and to eat a varied diet again including crusty bread and crisps!
When I was training to be a hypnotherapist, I was always told, ‘the problem is never the problem’. Often the issue someone contacts me about is in fact the symptom of something much deeper and since I have been practising this has been proved right time and time again.
If you or anyone you know, is struggling with anything similar to the above, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Please share this post on Twitter or Facebook. It may just help someone.
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