Extinguish fears: how to bring back flexibility

(8 customer reviews)


Categories: ,


The price is flexible: see below

From rigidity to flexibility

It's common for an eating disorder — especially anorexia or ARFID — to come with:

  • rules (I can only rest if I have exercised; evening snack has to be a banana)
  • avoiding various foods ('fear foods'), perhaps justified as 'healthy eating'
  • avoiding various situations (restaurants, eating with others)
  • an attachment to eating-disorder behaviours (cutting food into small pieces, using the same spoon, needing others to eat the same as you)

In this workshop I take you through a roadmap to help you bring flexibility and freedom back to your child. Get them back to their old 'normal'.

This work is often neglected, as there can be a misconception that weight recovery, and if necessary, more weight beyond that, will sort out all those issues.


The main tool I'll take you through is one of 'exposure' to a fearful situation, so that the person experiences that the situation is actually OK, that their fears were unjustified, or that bit of anxiety is quite tolerable.

It's likely that the rules and behaviours are there to make your child feel safe and calm. Or they might have become the new-normal habits. With a fear food, for example, it's possible to change this: we can skillfully support the person to have the food: the tension fades, the brain rewires, and your child enjoys a sense of freedom and mastery. They get closer to a life worth living.

Fears fade away with repetition, but you need to be a bit clever on how you do that so that your child keeps the benefit. I'll propose ways that parents can coach their child and use exposure in realistic ways.

And I'll share tips on how you might communicate, support, problem-solve. We'll get as practical as you wish.

This workshop: both lecturing and interaction

In this 1.5 hour workshop, I will explain principles, give examples of things that have worked for others, and I'll also invite your questions and comments.

So it will be interactive, and I'll ask you to have your videos on so we can see each other and feel connected and safe.

But if you're Zoom-shy then you do what's the best for you.

When might you need this workshop?

Once you've got over the initial overwhelm of learning about eating disorders, and once you have some confidence around supporting meals (see my 'Essentials' workshops) then this workshop will start being useful to you.

For instance it could help you get your child ready to eat in school with slightly less intense supervision.

And it will help you expand your child's range of foods early on if this is what your clinicians are recommending (other clinicians may advise you to stick with easier foods, in order to prioritise rapid weight gain).

If your child is now accepting meal support reasonably smoothly, gaining weight, or already weight-recovered, then it's probably a good time to get going with work on flexibility.

See if this is a good time for you to also book into my workshop 'How to bring back freedom & independence'. Especially if your clinicians are talking about 'Phase 2' — if there's a plan to give decision-making back to your child.

What will the workshop do for you, as a parent

The feedback from parent tends to be that they have more clarity about how to drive progress. They have a sense of where they can be more persistent, while also being kind. They have renewed hope and drive, at a time when they may be rather tired of months of being very hands-on.

Parents also tell me they get a lot from feeling like they're in good company, with other like-minded parents.

Who is the workshop for?

This is for parents or carers who have a child or teen with an eating disorder, living at home. Relatives are also most welcome.

My tips tend to help parents treat their child/teen for a restrictive eating disorder (e.g. anorexia) using a family-based approach. This is where most of my knowledge sits. Some tips are relevant to bulimia, binge eating disorder and OSFED. I will share some of the gentle, gradual exposure techniques that are well known in the treatment of ARFID. Having said that, my knowledge rests mostly with anorexia.

Regarding autism, I strive to be informed and I have gathered resources for parents. I'm aware that some autistic youngsters have suffered from rather brutal exposure techniques. What eventually worked were more gradual and gentle approaches. These are very much in line with what I will share in the workshop. And as with all my resources, it's about expanding your ideas so you can assess what might help your child.

Can clinicians come?

Clinicians are very welcome. It's great that you are open to learning what parents are sharing, or that you are checking the workshop out to recommend it. Contact me after you've booked, so that when the meeting starts I can check with all the parents if they have any objection.

Parents, if you are at all worried about having a clinician you might know on the session, feel free to check with me.

Is this suitable for parents/partners of an adult with an eating disorder?

It's not my field of expertise, but I do know of adults who have recovered thanks to an adaptation of how we treat teens. Parents/partners who have come to this workshop fed back they were glad they came.

Will there be a recording? Handouts?

No recording

There will be no recording. I will remind everyone not to record, as I want privacy for parents and for their children.

If you would enjoy audio reminders, there's plenty on this topic in my Bitesize audio collection.

If you'd like written information, I will be sending you a few emails after the workshop (as long as you're signed up to my mailing list.

Also, I cover this topic in depth in Chapter 9 of my book. And there's a brief overview in my free helpsheets (the third page).

Can my child attend?

No — and to keep your child safe from hearing something that might 'trigger' them, please use headphones if your child will be in the house. My expertise is on supporting parents, so that they can support their child.

What is your expertise?

Wise question. Anyone can present as an expert, on the internet.

I've taken a lot of time to check the manuals, attend webinars and check what I say with professionals I highly respect. Some treatment teams have asked me to train their staff on this topic.

I say more in my general workshop information here.

Don't let money be an obstacle

Finances are tough for some. If my preferred fee is too much of a stretch, you can give yourself a discount. Usually I get my needs met as enough people contribute enough 🙂

For example if you choose to pay 80%, the coupon to use at checkout is workshop80. More details here.

Limitations of the workshop

The workshop aims to expand your toolbox, not to tell you what to do, which could be dangerous. Check everything with your clinicians… if they haven't yet discharged your child from treatment…  More here.

Cancellations and refunds

I know things can be unpredictable. If you can't attend a workshop you booked, contact me, and I'll give you a voucher to get you onto any other workshop at a time of your choosing. More here.


Technical difficulties with booking in

I've got troubleshooting tips for you here and of course you're welcome to contact me.


Please sign up to my mailing list as I aim to send you more resources after the workshop, including my slides and an overview of the tools we discussed.

8 reviews for Extinguish fears: how to bring back flexibility

  1. London Co-Parents

    Really grateful to have tips to ensure our daughter keeps progressing now we've reached phase 2. In the couple of days since the workshop, we've already begun reintroducing fear foods, and we're looking forward to flexible quantities and eyeballing quantities. It was also helpful to be reminded of the empathy guesses covered in the phase 1 workshop and to have strategies other than weight gain (now she's weight restored) to move forward. I also find Zoom workshop delivery with parents/carers in a similar position helpful and reassuring.

  2. Parent from Hertfordshire

    Thank you so much for running this course. I learnt a lot and perhaps realised I am not being as honest as we could be. The insight was fabulous and can push us forward on this rocky path that we are all on! It is easy to think things are better when your child’s weight is good! But there are still things to work on!

  3. Annie

    Eva’s workshop was pure oxygen for this battle weary mama. I am so not a fan of zoom… but I exited my technological comfort zone to be a part of this workshop and it was so worth it. First of all, Eva’s voice is so sweet you just want to listen to her all day! She gives clear, practical, doable tips to facilitate your child’s recovery. She does so without a hint of judgment. Also, being “with” other parents in the trenches was so great to realize we are not alone in this fight. Others who truly “get it.” I can’t wait for the next workshop!

  4. Kate

    Just to say thank you for an incredibly valuable session – I felt both reassured and motivated to try new things and keep progressing; thank you, Eva, for blending the practical and the positive so expertly and supportively.

  5. Stephanie

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. That was so worthwhile. How odd to feel such a connection with people you don’t even know! All lovely people and good to be in the same "room" as people going through the same thing. Really useful and practical tips for progressing with this scary illness. Thank you, again!

  6. parent in Sussex

    My daughter is not at a proper stage 2 yet but I really wanted to do the workshop to help prepare for what is coming and to have some general contact and support as we are lacking that from our FEDS team.
    The workshop has strengthened my confidence in helping my daughter more and since then she has eaten different foods that were very hard for her. I was not sure how much to push her and the workshop (and Eva's book) has given me the confidence to push more yet not berate myself when it doesn't go well. Being able to ask a question I couldn't find an answer to and have others say they have the same question was really helpful. I realised I am not alone with these things and others have got through them. And the "chat" at the end was very powerful in hearing in more detail about another family's journey (inspirational) and being able to offer suggestions to another parent at the beginning of it all.
    Eva has a gentle warmth that is calming and reassuring; underpining this her strategies really work and she is rock solid in the support she offers. I felt I could throw anything at her and she would know what to do. At times her book feels overwhelming because there is so much information in it and her workshops give the human touch and connection that I so needed. Highly recommended.

    • Eva Musby

      Wow, I am so very glad the workshop did so much for you! Thank you for taking the time to write this.

  7. Cathy

    I attended the phase 2 workshop last week and felt a tremendous sense of relief and empowerment afterwards. Eva's videos on YouTube and her book were incredibly helpful to me as I battled with my daughter's eating disorder over these past eight months and I was so thrilled when I learned that I could "meet" her on zoom. I've encountered quite a few professionals on this journey and none have matched Eva's warmth and compassion and first hand experience and made me feel "seen" and understood the way that she has. Having an opportunity to meet with other parents – through the zoom workshop – who have walked the same path and battled with the same struggle as me was just incredible. There was so much weariness and fear, but the abiding emotion was love. How much we all love our children. How hard we have fought and will fight for them. How extraordinary parents are, just getting things done behind the scenes without recognition and, often without much help. I'm in awe of these mothers and fathers. Thank you Eva for giving us all a place to connect.

  8. Anonymous

    Eva's website and book saved my sanity at the frightening beginning of this journey. This workshop on phase 2 or guiding our child to normalcy (I like that better), validated what we were doing (inspired by Eva's description on what she did with her own daughter). Connecting with other parents was also great, we have no peer support group where we live. We actually had no help at all at the beginning and only long distance FBT pediatrician (a really good one luckily) after d was already WR so Eva's resources were and still are invaluable, as well as feast-ed.org.
    Thank you Eva for your great work!

Add a review

YOUR PRIVACY: Name or Email are optional. Your email address will not be published