Jacob’s Story

All stories are examples of the way psychological treatment can be helpful, and are not real

Jacob is 3 years old and a lively, noisy little boy who loves the outdoors and messy play. His parents Lynn and Jason are becoming increasingly concerned about Jacob’s eating habits and his behaviour at mealtimes. He will not eat anything other than dry foods including bread, dry cereal and biscuits. He used to eat a wider range of foods but has always been quite selective. Jacob refuses to try the same meals as the rest of the family, and becomes very distressed, often kicking, shouting and screaming for long periods at the table. This causes a lot of stress for his parents and his elder sister Lily. Mealtimes have become fraught and feel like a battleground for Lynn and Jason. They try to be firm with Jacob, but sometimes he screams so loudly that they give in and give him his preferred meal, as they feel he needs to eat something. Recently Jacob has started to become equally distressed at pre-school, during mealtimes.

How could Everlief help?

Clinical psychologists at Everlief would meet with Lynn and Jason. They would ask about Jacob’s development, his past eating patterns, the family history, and any recent life events which may be upsetting him. They may then recommend a programme to help widen the range of foods Jacob eats, lessen the stress at mealtimes, and help Lynn and Jason feel empowered to deal with similar difficulties in the future. This may involve teaching simple behavioural strategies to reduce the stress of the situation, and using a reward system so that Jacob begins to associate mealtimes with positive things.

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