Biting the Hand That Starves You: Inspiring Resistance To Anorexia Bulimia

Hardcover | September 28, 2004

byRichard Maisel, David Epston, Alisa Borden

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The authors' decade-and-a-half collaboration with 'insiders' has yielded fresh answers to these life and death questions: How does a/b seduce and terrorize girls and women? Why is a/b successful in encouraging girls and women to unwittingly embrace their would-be murderer? How can such a murderer be exposed and thwarted? This book details a unique way of thinking and speaking about anorexia/bulimia. By having conversations with insiders in which the problem is viewed as an external influence rather than a part of the person, these therapists show how to bring the tactics of a/b into the open, expose its deceptions, break its spell, and encourage defiance of its tyrannical rule. These innovations enable insiders, professionals, and loved ones to unite against anorexia/bulimia rather than allowing a/b to pit a professional or loved one against an insider, and the insider against herself. Coercion is sidestepped in favor of practices that are collaborative, accountable and spirit-nurturing. The groundbreaking discoveries outlined in this book will provide new options, inspiration and hope, not only for those who suffer at anorexia's hands, but also for their loved ones and healthcare professionals.

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The authors' decade-and-a-half collaboration with 'insiders' has yielded fresh answers to these life and death questions: How does a/b seduce and terrorize girls and women? Why is a/b successful in encouraging girls and women to unwittingly embrace their would-be murderer? How can such a murderer be exposed and thwarted? This bo...

Ali Borden, M.A., M.F.T. is the Assistant Clinical Director at the Monte Nido Treatment Center, a residential facility in Los Angeles for women fighting Anorexia and Bulimia. Ali has successfully battled with anorexia/bulimia in her own life.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:380 pages, 9.6 × 6.5 × 1 inPublished:September 28, 2004Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393703371

ISBN - 13:9780393703375

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant This book is fantastic. Not an easy read, but worth every minute. The concepts and the work that these men are doing will forever change the way we treat eating disorders. Their results are astounding and a true break through. If you are a professional working with disordered eating please read this book - your patients/clients will be grateful. I know being anorexic myself, this work changed my life.
Date published: 2006-10-03

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Editorial Reviews

[A] consequential book that changes the way in which a/b is traditionally viewed and thus provides a framework for therapists which involves the use of narrative therapy. . . . The ‘insider knowledge’ provided, which includes journal entries and poems from clients, anecdotes, and therapy session transcripts, helps readers truly grasp the difficulties involved in dealing with a/b and also that recovery is indeed possible. — International Journal of PsychotherapyWith unfailing respect for those suffering from anorexia, Maisel, Epston, and Borden offer a fresh analysis of the etiology of anorexia and bulimia and give us effective new therapeutic tools. . . . [G]ives psychiatrists and clinicians in every therapeutic setting the theoretical framework and practice options needed to treat anorexia and bulimia. This is the book we have been waiting for. . . Patients and their families will find this book invaluable. . . . If you are interested in compassionate, respectful, and effective treatment of anorexia and bulimia, get this landmark book. — Psychiatric Services[O]ffers a promising way of conceptualizing eating disorders that allows therapist, client, and loved ones to maintain positivity and hope during those periods that seem the bleakest. — PsycCritiquesIt is organized and written so effectively, with insider narratives and therapy transcripts as driving forces, that the structure is almost invisible, and the reader is pretty much swept along by the content—which is well worth engaging with. . . . [T]he book is a fresh and inspiring start for this new approach. Full of different voices and creativities, in practice as well as in therapy, it gives hope. — Counseling ResourceBiting the Hand That Starves You is an inspiring book suitable for anyone touched by an eating disorder, whether they are professionals, carers or sufferers. Using techniques grounded in narrative therapy, the authors offer a fresh and empowering way of approaching anorexia/bulimia (a/b) from an anti-anorexic standpoint. . . . As a professional who works with eating disorders, I was left feeling highly motivated to employ techniques outlined in the text and share the ideas with colleagues. I could not recommend this book more. — Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory Research and PracticeThis is a powerful book, written in extremely strong language reflecting the strong feelings of its authors. . . . [A]n absolute must-have for anyone working to help sufferers from these killing disorders. — Human Givens Journal (UK)[A]fter over 20 years of battling with anorexia/bulimia, I have found something that speaks my language. . . . I have been asked over the years (and have often asked myself) what is it going to take to get out of this torture. I never really attempted answering this question until we finally got the book. — Archives of ResistanceThis important work captures the nature of the violent, profoundly personal dialogue between anorexia/bulimia and the men and women who have to contend with it. Biting the Hand that Starves You will be of great interest to both the professional and the layperson, written as it is in a highly intelligent but clear fashion, free of the stylistic murkiness that often clouds important works of research. By applying the highly effective methods of narrative therapy, the authors emphasize the very real potential for effective treatment of these devastating problems. This book offers not only welcome hope to those frustrated with the current state of ‘eating disorder’ treatment but it also provides a lifeline of language to those who are trapped in the terrible silence of anorexia/bulimia. — Marya Hornbacher, author of Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and BulimiaBiting the Hand that Starves You breaks new ground by presenting in their own words, the hard-won knowledge of people who have taken their lives back from anorexia and bulimia. The authors invite us—those struggling with anorexia and bulimia as well as the therapists working with them—into a different way of thinking in which therapists and clients can join together against anorexia and bulimia. The therapy transcripts are inspiring and compelling. The chapter on how parents can become allies in the fight against anorexia and bulimia is one that I intend to rely on in my work—not only to instill hope, but to offer pragmatic, effective possibilities. Thank you Rick Maisel, David Epston, and Ali Borden for this amazing labor of love. — Jill Freedman, MSW, co-director of the Evanston Family Therapy Center of Evanston, Illinois, and coauthor of Narrative Therapy: The Social Construction of Preferred Realities