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Anorexia Nervosa: therapy and theory
Am J Psychiatry 1982;139:1531-1538.
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Abstract

The reciprocal interaction between psychotherapy and theoretical assumptions is illustrated through observations of anorexia nervosa. Traditional psychoanalysis, with its emphasis on interpretation of unconscious processes, was found to be rather ineffective, whereas an approach evoking active participation on the part of the patient led to better treatment results. The experience of being listened to appeared to be of utmost importance. The characteristic deficits in self-concept and body awareness could be related to a paucity or an absence of confirming responses in the early mother-child interactions. This concept reinforced the focus on encouragement of initiative and autonomy during therapy.

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