ABSTRACT

The goal of this study is to highlight the part played by archetypal affects or emotions in the psychogenesis of certain eating disorders and in their psychological treatment. The purpose of the Introduction is to acquaint the reader with the author's view of the emotions as rooted in a complex system of archetypal affects, because that is the view that informs this research. My primary sources for this conviction about the essential nature of human affects are: The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals by Charles Darwin (1872); C. G. Jung's Collected Works; Emotion by James Hillman (1992); Volumes I, II, III of Affect Imagery Consciousness by Silvan Tomkins (1962, 1963, 1991); Exploring Affect: The Selected Writings of Silvan S. Tomkins, edited by Virginia Demos (1995); and my late brother Louis H. Stewart's formulation of his theory of the Archetypal affect system (1984, 1985, 1986, 1987a, 1987b, 1988, 1992). This developing theory of emotion, as based in a system of archetypal affects that have evolved along with everything else that makes us human, informs my previous works, The Symbolic Impetus: How Creative Fantasy Motivates Development (2001) and Dire Emotions and Lethal Behaviors: Eclipse of the Life Instinct (2008). The reader should be aware that these books do not stint on, and in fact underline and amplify, the role of development in infancy, childhood, and adolescence in determining how archetypal affects end up motivating human behavior. In the present book, this theory will be applied to what we already know about the development of eating disorders.