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Beary, M. (1986). Hunger Strike by Susie Orbach. Published by Faber & Faber Ltd., London 1986; 201 pp.; £9.95.. Brit. J. Psychother., 3(2):184-185.

(1986). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 3(2):184-185

Hunger Strike by Susie Orbach. Published by Faber & Faber Ltd., London 1986; 201 pp.; £9.95.

Review by:
Michael Beary

This excellent book should rest on the book-shelves of every therapist treating women clients. It is written by an established authority in the field of eating disorders who has written other books on the subject including Fat is a Feminist Issue which is a classic. The strength of this new work rests on the evident wealth of experience that the author has of patients battling to free themselves from the grip of anorexia nervosa. She has a lucid and articulate style which makes the book available to both professionals and the lay public.

She has had little experience of people suffering from bulimia and wisely avoids anything other than passing reference to this problem which increasingly is requiring help from therapists skilled in that area. Her analyses of the patients she describes are thorough, intuitive and in agreement with the conclusions of other experts. For those of us who like to see our patients' dis-ease in terms of psychological development, family relations and social pressures it is easy to agree with her that genetic biochemical and neuro-endocrine explanations are inappropriate. In fact I suspect we dismiss some truth in the process.

There are two important new theses in this book, one I heartily endorse and the other about which I have reservations.

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