• From ‘disorder’ to political action: conversations that invite collective considerations to individual experiences of women who express concerns about eating and their bodies — Kristina Lainson Quick View

    This article describes an interweaving of narrative practices which has proved helpful for a number of women experiencing concerns about eating and its effects on their bodies. Through the stories of two young women, this paper illustrates how, by inviting collective ideas to individual experiences, and by recognising and naming their own commitments and agentive responses to societal expectations, the women became able to move away from ideas of ‘stuckness’ towards a sense of themselves as influential both in their own lives and possibly in the lives of others similarly concerned.

  • Every Conversation Is an Opportunity: Negotiating Identity in Group Settings— Ali Borden Quick View

    Therapy within the context of a treatment centre can spread and confirm stories of deficit, or it can be an opportunity in which preferences and skills reverberate within a community and enable preferred reputations to be born. In a group setting, every conversation is an opportunity to negotiate meaning, and every group provides a stage for the performance of identity. This paper describes some ways that we at the Eating Disorder Center of California day treatment program guide some of that performance, including how we seek to take apart assumptions about eating problems and recovery, what is relevant to share, and what people have in common. Our intention is to open space for women to share their experiences as rich and complicated; their preferences as diverse, varied, and dynamic; and at the same time encourage points of connection, camaraderie, and community.

  • A Service-user and Therapist Reflect on Context, Difference, and Dialogue in a Therapy for Anorexia— Tracy Craggs and Alex Reed Quick View

    This article was co-authored by the participants in a therapeutic process which occurred within a specialist eating disorders service in a hospital setting. One of us was seeking assistance in their struggle with anorexia, and the other was a therapist working in this field. In addition to our encounters in the therapy process, we share in common a background in research and an orientation towards postmodern research methodologies. We became interested in how this shared research interest might provide an additional resource towards creating new knowledges and change. Through a process of shared inquiry, we sought to explore, from our different positions, the therapeutic process that we were engaged in by attending to the different narratives that shaped our experiences, understandings and actions. In particular, the influence of the clinical context on our respective experiences of the therapeutic process was examined. Some tentative reflections are offered regarding the potentially fruitful inter-relationship between therapy and research activities, and the transformative potential of this kind of shared inquiry.

  • Bringing Narrative Practices to Psychopharmacology— SuEllen Hamkins Quick View

    This paper considers how narrative therapy practices can be brought to the field of psychopharmacology. Specifically, the paper explores how clients’ evaluations of medicine – including negative and positive effects, as well as their preferences for its use – can be brought more to the centre of medicine consultation. The various discourses that surround pharmacology during practice are also considered, including how to proceed when these discourses are in conflict. A discussion of the relevant issues in theory and practice is complemented by two examples from the author’s practice.

  • Narrative Therapy with Boys Struggling with Anorexia— Rudi Kronbichler Quick View

    The work described in this paper took place in Salzburg, Austria, within a psychotherapeutic outpatient department for children, adolescents and their families. It is based on meetings with eight young men and their families over the last couple of years. The young men’s ages ranged from twelve to fifteen and their diagnoses were that of ‘anorexia’. This paper discusses the growing incidence of anorexia amongst young men and boys and proposes narrative ways of working that have been experienced as helpful and effective.

  • The Interplay of Substance Misuse and Disordered Eating Practices in the Lives of Young Women— Christine Dennstedt Quick View

    Many young women struggle with problems of substance misuse and disordered eating practices. However, programs and ways of working when both issues are present are not common. This article explores the similarities and interplays of substance misuse and disordered eating, drawing on interviews with young women, and discusses some implications for therapy and residential programs.

  • Narrative Therapy, ‘Eating Disorders’, and Assessment: Exploring Constraints, Dilemmas, and Opportunities— Mim Weber Quick View

    This paper is a work in progress. It is an exploration of the usefulness of an eating disorders assessment and referral service to the people who consult it; and whether such a service can avoid practices which could be experienced as reinforcing of the eating disorder, pathologising, or blaming. It also looks at the possibility of working with narrative therapy ideas in an environment which does not necessarily subscribe to those ideas.

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