Feminist Perspectives on Eating Disordersby Patricia Fallon (Editor), Melanie A. Katzman (Editor), Susan C. Wooley (Editor)
This book utilizes a feminist perspective to illuminate and explore the relationship between the anguish of eating disorder sufferers and the problems of ordinary women. The book examines the sociocultural pressure on women to conform to culturally ideal body types and how this affects individual self-concept. Such controversial topics as the relationship between sexual abuse and eating disorders, the use of medications and the role of hospitalization, and 12-step programs are explored.
"These essays on women's troubled relationship to her body and food are of a high standard. They take as their starting point women's experience in the social, psychological, and political worlds. They express the pain, the rage, and the courage that is women's lives while their scholarship shows our strivings to create better understandings of our lives." Susie Orbach, psychotherapist and writer, author of Fat is a Feminist Issue and Hunger Strike: The Anorectic's Struggle as a Metaphor of Our Age.
"In the grey stream of publications on eating disorders, this colorful book cannot be overlooked by those working with anorexic or bulimic patients. Its contents is so rich and fresh, but at the same time, provocative and even shocking, that no reader will remain 'untouched.'" Walter Vandereycken, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Leuven, Belgium
"The editors offer a thought-provoking and insightful overview of feminist perspectives and one rich with clinical implications. The theoretical concepts and technical issues are effectively presented, making this indispensable reading for anyone undertaking work with eating disorder patients." Michael Strober, Ph.D., Director, UCLA Eating Disorders Program and Editor, International Journal of Eating Disorders
"This is a major work. A timely work. A huge contribution. A labor of both love and anger. These authors together affirm the rediscovery that life is not gender-neutral at all. Whether it has to be gender antagonistic remains an unsettled issue. This distinguished group of authors cover the gamut of important material concerning eating disorders from history, sociocultural development, moral indictment, ironic commentary, treatment, and prevention. Virtually every emotion is aroused by this volume. Some wonderfully outrageous chapters are included such as 'The Female Therapist as Outlaw'. 'Alternatives in Obesity Treatment Beside Dieting' fills a necessary void. It is time to accept diversity in weights as we do diversity in almost every other area of life. This is a serious and monumental work, but that the same time eminently readable, almost a page-turner. Agree with it. Disagree with it. Love it. Hate it. Feel justified. Feel guilty. But read it." Arnold E. Andersen, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Iowa
"An excellent, holistic approach to a multi-faceted issue." Rena Pallof, John F. Kennedy University, Graduate School for Holistic Studies, Orinda, CA; Course: Psychology of Nutrition
"A thorough and clear statement of what constitutes feminist approaches to eating disorders." Janet L. Etzi, Immaculata College
Description: This is an anthology of feminist writings about the nature and treatment of eating disorders, the first of its kind to the best of my knowledge. It is organized into five broadly defined sections on historical trends, gender issues, body image, treatment, and prevention.
Purpose: The intent is to assemble in one volume the body of knowledge that describes the contextual or sociocultural nature of this gender-related disorder. In selecting material, the authors disclaim a unified "feminist model" but include pieces that reflect the common principles of the psychology of women, a commitment to equality of women, and a reevaluation of therapy based on gender-specific issues.
Audience: The primary audiences are mental health professionals, students, patients, and others interested in the psychology of women and the feminist movement. Women's studies programs would find this useful reading.
Features: The authors are well recognized in the fields of eating disorders and feminist issues. Contributors range from those relatively unknown to those extensively published in the scientific and popular press. Individual writings vary from original pieces to summarizations of previous work.
Assessment: Irrespective of one's political or personal views regarding the feminist movement, its enormous impact on the field of eating disorders must be acknowledged. It has become arguably the most comprehensive theoretical model for understanding the etiology, epidemiology, and phenomenology of the disorder. Nearly an entire new generation of female therapists (even those not identifying as feminists) now look to this perspective for guidance in conducting clinical work and shaping new directions in the field. The fact that this book so masterfully articulates this sociocultural perspective warrants a strong endorsement. Shortcomings of the model (the fact that much of it remains untestable or that it fails to fully explain the gender mystery) do not detract from the significance of this work.
- Guilford Publications, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.99(d)
What People are Saying About This
Michael Strober, Ph.D., UCLA Eating Disorders Program and Editor, International Journal of Eating Disorders
Meet the Author
Patricia Fallon, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice and a clinical faculty member, University of Washington, Seattle. She serves on the editorial board of Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention and speaks frequently at conferences on feminist theory and treatment of eating disorders. She is co-author of Bulimia: A Systems Approach to Treatment and author of articles in the areas of eating disorders, family therapy, and abuse.
Melanie A. Katzman, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in private practice in New York City and serves on the faculty of New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. She is on the editorial board of Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention and lectures frequently to national audiences. The author of articles and book chapters on eating disorders, women's issues, and group therapy, she is the co-author of two books, Treating Bulimia: Psycho-Educational Approach and You Can't Have Your Cake and Eat It Too.
Susan C. Wooley, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology and Co-founder and Co-Director of the Eating Disorders Clinic in the Psychiatry Department, University of Cincinnati Medical College. Widely published in the fields of obesity, eating disorders, and body image, she is especially noted for her feminist orientation to these topics. A consulting editor to a number of journals, who serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Eating Disorders and Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, she is a frequent presenter at national conferences and is currently nearing completion of her own book, Screaming in a Different Language.
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