Biting the Hand That Starves You: Inspiring Resistance to Anorexia/Bulimia

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Biting the Hand That Starves You: Inspiring Resistance to Anorexia/Bulimia

Richard Maisel

Publisher: W. W. Norton & CompanyFormat: Hardcover

This important book immediately draws the reader into the world of those struggling with anorexia/bulimia (a/b), whose stories, poems, and first-person accounts expose the 'voice' of these deadly problems. 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? Biting the Hand that Starves You 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. The first section of the book illuminates the means by which anorexia/bulimia insinuates itself into the lives of women and confines them to its prison. The second section focuses on how therapists and other helpers assist them to break the spell of a/b, creating possibilities for resisting and defying it. The third section of the book details a two-pronged strategy for reclaiming one's life from a/b. One method involves unmasking a/b by directly engaging with it through critique. The other method involves disengaging from anorexia in order fashion an 'anti-a/b' lifestyle guided by their own values and passions, even while they fear forsaking the promises of anorexia. Finally, the last section of the book addresses ways in which parents and other loved ones can 'team up' with insiders to fight against these lethal problems. This section includes a first-person account of a mother and father's harrowing but ultimately triumphant effort to free their daughter from anorexia's prison. Biting the Hand that Starves You draws to an unprecedented degree on the anti-anorexic/bulimic knowledge of 'insider' clients/collaborators to provide fresh insights into the workings of a/b and the means to overcome it. The knowledge of these authors and their insider collaborators, who speak poignantly and passionately on their own behalf, is sure to benefit all those affected by a/b.

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