Narrative Therapy’s Approach to Anorexia
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Anorexia is a serious and life threatening condition. Research shows that with current treatment approaches, 50% recover based on weight gain but many other difficulties remain. Researchers recognize the dire need to improve this statistic but due to the lack of clinical evidence can offer little in the way of recommendations, other than that based on expert opinion. This study considers the potential relationship between the successful use of narrative therapy for helping those suffering from anorexia and the need for more instructive data. Through a review of the literature, the medical models‘ approach to treatment was contrasted to the narrative approach to discover possible differences between the theory and methods of each approach that may shed light on to why narrative therapy is having success. Profound differences exist between these two approaches. The narrative approach breaks away from the traditional method of diagnosing and labelling people. Through placing the client as expert and locating problems in the culture rather than in the person, personal agency is increased, blame is reduced, and a positive identity is re-constructed. Narrative therapy is a therapeutic method that questions some of the taken-for-granted ideas about our notion of reality and culture and in doing so opens possibilities for those in the grip of anorexia.