The Speakmans food phobias for eating problems.. Episode 15: Friday 1st August
Ross has had a problem with food for as long as he can remember. Ross has a phobia of food and can only eat chicken products, potato products and bacon. Ross says his sense of taste and smell are very sensitive, if he smells or tastes anything that he will not eat, he panics and will run away. Ross has to avoid walking past restaurants and cafes and can’t cook anything nutritious for his son Leo. Ross can’t even prepare healthy lunches for his son, so his son now gets school dinners. Leo goes to his grandmother’s house at least five times a week in order to get his essential nutrients and vitamins. Ross says he is worried he is overweight but can not eat anything healthy to lose it. Ross has never been on holiday or taken his son to a restaurant and he just wants to be a better dad.
Can The Speakmans help Ross overcome his phobia? Will Ross be able to try new foods?
As I watch the way that the Speakmans work I often feel that they spend a lot of time telling people what they think rather than letting them speak. Most therapists will help you to work through your thoughts and feelings and let you explain how you feel. It can appear that they are helping people to feel the way they do in order to get through the TV show, this may just be because of he editing of course.
An example of this would be when a helicopter appeared for one of the people they were working with and Nik Speakman said "How awazing is that!" whilst nodding his head. Perhaps another approach would be to ask her what she thought and felt about it? Of course I am sure she was delighted in reality. It just shows leading rather than asking for responses.
This episode does show us how the way we behave teaches our children how to behave and think as they copy.
I often see phobia sufferers who found out how to be scared from a parent. For example if you had a mother who was scared of spiders and screamed the house down, what are the chances that you will have the same reaction?
As I have said to people who have asked me questions following this series, family mediation is something that is not part of most therapists treatment. Although it makes more interesting viewing it isn't needed in the majority of cases to help make a change.
What we see time and time again is that something that happened in childhood has had a long term effect. You can overcome this and move on from any fear or phobia with the right help and support.
In this episode we saw some shots of the Speakmans using a version of EFT or EMDR where they used a watch and moved it around asking him to keep his eyes open and talk about how he felt whilst it was in certain positions. It is also a way of doing something called the Swish technique that involves changing the image on thoughts and feelings. It was interesting to actually see an intervention used by the Speakmans on this show. Bear in mind that we saw only part of what will have taken a lot longer in reality.
It was lovely to be able to see him eating food with his family, although having huge platters of cakes on the table covered in cream may not have been he best food to eat and show eating.
If you are looking for help with anxiety and stress, a fear or phobia or any other problem the there is a great deal of free advice and support here including FREE MP3 downloads for relaxation and "How to Stop a panic attack".
Some advice on choosing a therapist who is right for you...
If you are looking for a ttalking herapist such as a clinical hypnotherapist to help you with any issue then do make enquiries and ask two or three people about how they will help you. One of the most important things is picking the right person for you. This can give you confidence before you even begin, and the right therapist can guide you to exactly where you would like to be.
You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07980 233160 if you would like any help or advice.
Asking for help can be very difficult, and once you have done that things can already start to get easier for you.