"So what are you feeling at that point?"

Heenan, Colleen (2003) "So what are you feeling at that point?". In: Talking Health?" - Third Murdoch Symposium on Talk-in Interaction, December 2003, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia. (Submitted)

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Abstract

Feminist psychotherapists face a dilemma in how they make sense of and respond to contemporary western women's troubled relationship with food and their bodies. Taking a political stance addresses ways in which eating problems are socially constructed and produced. At the same time, the role of psychotherapy is to provide an individual understanding and to intervene in the constant battle many women feel they are in: with themselves, with food, with their bodies, with others. However, the discursive nature of therapy means grappling with the ways in which even a feminist approach functions to construct accounts rather than reveal truths. As such, there can also be battles between therapists and clients as to which explanations should be privileged. In this paper the author uses text from a feminist psychodynamic therapy group for women with eating disorders to highlight some of the narratives generated by discourses about 'troubled eating' - from the differing perspectives of group members, therapeutic practitioners and feminist object relations theorists. This leads to an exploration of the ways in which meanings and differences are negotiated. In turn, this exemplifies the constructive and pedagogic nature of feminist therapy suggesting that the 'battle' metaphor is an appropriate expression of contemporary western women's embodied subjectivities. Even in seeking help, they may feel they are always under scrutiny and always under siege.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender, feminist discourse analysis, eating disorders
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: School of Education and Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Scott Wilson
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2013 12:51
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2014 16:03
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/341

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