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Washington, M. (2004). On the Issue of Resistance in Anorexia. Psychoanal. Psychother., 18(4):418-431.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 18(4):418-431

On the Issue of Resistance in Anorexia

Michelle Washington

This paper considers the pervasive resistance to ‘take in’ both physical and emotional or psychic sustenance that is demonstrated by the anorexic patient. It goes on to explore the relationship between these resistances and impeded psychological growth and development. It is suggested that such resistances to ‘taking in’ serve a defensive function, in that the patient manages to maintain psychic equilibrium by limiting, modifying or even avoiding any stimuli that is perceived to be threatening. This notion is considered further in specific relation to the depressive anxieties and conflicts associated with Oedipal issues and clinical material is used to illustrate this.

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