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Tip: To review The Language of Psycho-Analysis…

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Prior to searching a specific psychoanalytic concept, you may first want to review The Language of Psycho-Analysis written by Laplanche & Pontalis. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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Gray, S.H. (1996). Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. LVII, 1993. Whose Body Is It Anyway? Understanding and Treating Psychosomatic Aspects of Eating Disorders. Kathyrn J. Zerbe. Pp. 161-177.. Psychoanal Q., 65:676.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 65:676

Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. LVII, 1993. Whose Body Is It Anyway? Understanding and Treating Psychosomatic Aspects of Eating Disorders. Kathyrn J. Zerbe. Pp. 161-177.

Review by:
Sheila Hafter Gray

Splitting self from body, persons with eating disorders do not experience themselves as psychosomatic units. They come to hate the body and to develop the conviction that they can destroy it, yet survive its death. The roots of this disorder lie in pathological early experiences with parents who failed to affirm the child's separate identity. The child comes to believe that one cannot live one's individual life without destroying Mother. The child's normative search for autonomy may then manifest itself in an eating disorder. Successful treatment efforts support the development of an effective stimulus barrier and coherent self boundaries. The author describes a range of techniques to attain these goals. The therapist eventually must be willing to set limits on self-destructiveness and to become a “bad-enough” transference object to be credible to these seriously disordered individuals.

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