Narrative therapy, neuroscience and anorexia: A reflection on practices, problems and possibilities — Kristina Lainson


The effects of anorexia are serious and have significant consequences for people’s lives. A prevalent concern among professionals working within these realms include that available therapeutic approaches may have limited usefulness for some people, especially when anorexia has been in a person’s life for a long time. Both narrative therapy and neuroscience have contributed to ways of working with people’s experiences of anorexia. This article responds to a current, broader, conversation between narrative therapy and neuroscience by exploring some of the implications of each in the context of working with anorexia. By establishing a series of tensions between the principles and practices associated with certain neuroscientific models of anorexia and what is offered by narrative therapy, a case is put for eating disorder services to favour therapeutic approaches that attend to the politics of experience, and that privilege insider experience and knowledge. This article argues that these possibilities also extend into the realms of academic research, and that they have the potential to generate hope.