Psychoanalytic Treatment of Eating Disorders: When Words Fail and Bodies Speak offers a compilation of some of the most innovative thinking on psychoanalytic approaches to the treatment of eating disorders available today. In its recognition of the multiple meanings of food, weight, and body shape, psychoanalytic thinking is uniquely positioned to illuminate the complexities of these often life-threatening conditions. And while clinicians regularly draw on psychoanalytic ideas in the treatment of eating disorders, many of the unique insights psychoanalysis provides have been neglected in the contemporary literature.

This volume brings together some of the most respected clinicians in the field and speaks to the psychoanalytic conceptualization and treatment of eating disorders as well as contemporary issues, including social media, pro-anorexia forums, and larger cultural issues such as advertising, fashion, and even agribusiness. Drawing on new theoretical developments, several chapters propose novel models of treatment, whereas others delve into the complex convergence of culture and psychology in this patient population. 

Psychoanalytic Treatment of Eating Disorders will be of interest to all psychoanalysts and psychotherapists working with this complex and multi-faceted phenomenon.

chapter |13 pages


Contextualizing psychoanalytic approaches to eating disorders

part I|82 pages

Conceptualization of eating disorders

chapter 1|26 pages

Psychodynamic Improvement in Eating Disorders

Welcoming ignored, unspoken, and neglected concerns in the patient to foster development and resiliency

chapter 2|15 pages

Invisibility and Insubstantiality in an Anorexic Adolescent

Phenomenology and dynamics

chapter 3|12 pages

Primary Interactions and Eating Disorders

A psychoanalytic perspective

chapter 4|13 pages

An Island Entire of Itself

Narcissism in anorexia nervosa

part II|99 pages

Treatment of eating disorders

chapter 6|14 pages

From Knowing to Discovering

Some suggestions for work with an anorexic patient

chapter 7|12 pages

Heathen Talk

Psychoanalytic considerations of eating disorders and the dissociated self

chapter 8|15 pages

To Know Another Inside and Out

Linking psychic and somatic experience in eating disorders

chapter 10|31 pages

Eating Disorders, Impaired Mentalization, and Attachment

Implications for child and adolescent family treatment

part III|87 pages

Contemporary issues related to eating disorders

chapter 11|7 pages

The Low Spark of High-Heeled ‘Girls’

Hyperdeadness and hyperawareness with eating-disordered patients

chapter 13|18 pages

The Enigma of Ana

A psychoanalytic exploration of pro-anorexia Internet forums

chapter 14|27 pages

Towards Social Justice

The continuum of eating and body image problems: how social and psychological realities converge into an embodied epidemic

chapter 15|16 pages

Enduring Perfectionism

Seeing through eating disorder recovery and America’s cultural complex