|Some anorexic patients present themselves clinically as ‘invisible’ and ‘insubstantial’. Dr. Brady will present an adolescent girl in analysis in order to elucidate the factors that contributed to her experience of herself as invisible, and only really of any substance when merged with another. ‘Invisibility’ is understood in terms of underlying object relations. Anxiety about separation and differentiation can lead to an effort to live psychically inside mother’s skin, precluding the development of a sense of self. Differentiation and the development of a sense of a visible self require a growing capacity to bear pain and conflict. Paradoxically, anorexia can also serve to make a patient’s problems truly visible for the first time. The anorexia both concretely reflects the sense of insubstantiality and may represent an emerging opportunity for experiences that are one’s own to be considered.Click Here for Printable Flier
Participants will be able to:
1. Describe some of the dynamic roots of anorexia.
2. List some of the unconscious motivations for the patient’s presentation of herself as ‘invisible’ and ‘insubstantial’
3. Relate an excessive reliance on phantasied merger to problems in identity development.
1. BRADY, Mary T.(2011) ‘Invisibility and insubstantiality in an anorexic adolescent: phenomenology and dynamics’, Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 37: 1, 3 – 15 [Available in the Library] Journal Link
2. QUAGLIATA, E. (2004) ‘Some reflections on the processes of projection and introjection in eating disorders’. In WILLIAMS, G. (ed.) Exploring Eating Disorders in Adolescence: The Generosity of Acceptance. London: Karnac. [Available in the Library]
3. WILLIAMS, G. (1997) ‘Reflections on some dynamics of eating disorders: ‘No Entry’ defences and foreign bodies’. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 78: 927-41. Journal of Psychotherapy 15 PEP Web Link
Mary Brady, PhD is on the Faculty of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis; Private Practice of Adult, Adolescent and Child Psychoanalysis San Francisco, CA.
Mimi Pantuhova, PsyD is a member of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She is a candidate in BPSI’s Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Training Program and has a private practice in Newton , MA.
Lawrence Brown, PhD is a Supervising Child Analyst and Faculty member at BPSI and has a private practice in Newton with children, adolescents and adults.
This program will be of interest to mental health practitioners at all levels of training
This program is free. This program is. Continuing Education certification for this event is available for a $30.00 fee. Please forward your request and payment to BPSI, 169 Herrick Rd, Newton Centre, MA 02459.
The fee is waived for BPSI trainees and members.