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Novack, D. (2016). To Know Another Inside and Out: Linking Psychic and Somatic Experience in Eating Disorders. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 15(4):278-288.

(2016). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 15(4):278-288

To Know Another Inside and Out: Linking Psychic and Somatic Experience in Eating Disorders

Danielle Novack, Ph.D.

This article explores the role of the body in the psychoanalytic treatment of eating disorders from a relational and developmental perspective. Many who struggle with eating disorders and related issues have had early experiences that adversely affected the development of flexible, adaptive self-regulation, including the ability to experience affects as psychic states that can be safely shared in the context of a relationship. Because of their difficulty symbolizing and expressing feelings, patients with eating disorders often experience affects as somatic problems, for which they seek somatic solutions. Tuning in to patients’ bodily experience can open up pathways for accessing and, eventually, verbalizing and reflecting on internal states in the therapeutic relationship. As shown through a detailed case illustration, the therapist can discover and engage aspects of the intersubjective matrix that may not meet the eye by attending to his or her own bodily experiences and associations in and out of sessions.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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