There's No Place Like Home: Finding Life After Anorexia

Murphy, Barbara (2010) There's No Place Like Home: Finding Life After Anorexia. Doctoral thesis, Meridian University.


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The effects of Anorexia Nervosa upon so many is a rather recent phenomenon. The significant associated risks require that this disorder be taken seriously for the sake of individuals who suffer it as well as their loved ones. This Clinical Case Study describes the therapy of a young woman who not only suffered with anorexia, but put herself at greater risk by also abusing insulin prescribed for her Type I diabetes to stay thin. This client sought therapy because of her mother’s concern and her ten hospitalizations that year. Although suffering greatly, she had steadfastly held to her self sabotaging habits and need to look perfect which became the focus of the therapy. The literature reveals that the lenses from which clinicians view and treat the anorexia after medical stabilization differ considerably. The significance and impact, as well as limitations of these methods are discussed in this paper. Heightening awareness about varying treatment options is fundamental to success rates and recidivism. The therapeutic methods discussed include working with the client from the cognitive/behavioral, psychodynamic, and biological perspectives, as well as using an imaginal approach. It was also important to focus in the therapy upon sociocultural influences and ways that these informed and impacted the client’s experience of the world. vii This study’s major learning involved looking at the client’s imaginal structure of perfectionism and her need to not make mistakes. Closely related were imaginal structures of needing to stay thin at all costs and stay numb to her feelings. This resulted in abysmal self-care routines and beliefs that she needed to both abuse her insulin and eat minimally. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz depicts the myth in which this client’s story is reflected. This American fairytale chronicles a young woman’s numerous obstacles and challenges while trying to find her way back home. Similarly, the client’s struggle with anorexia and finding her way through its myriad of obstacles was a heroic journey. The need to further research the anorexic’s proclivity to counter-dependent tendencies might help clinicians understanding of unique traits and obstacles with which the anorexic contends. Such insight could provide a greater tolerance for the difficulties in working with this population.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Psychology > Critical Theory
Depositing User: Barbara Murphy
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2017 22:35
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2017 22:35

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