Lives of the Unconscious

Lives of the Unconscious

Podcast on Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy

Episode 29: The Anorexic Dynamic. Or: Why eating disorders are not about the food

Lives of the Unconscious

“You are what you eat.” We are continuously negotiating our identity through food, setting the boundaries of the self. Inscribed into the symptoms of anorexia is an unconscious conflict of identity, which has something to do with one’s own longings and cravings, with a hunger for the other. In psychodynamic therapies, these longings become part of the therapeutic exchange, while also leading to a characteristic dilemma.

Support us on Patreon and get the scripts to the episodes:

Visit our website: or our youtube-channel:

Join our newsletter: Write a mail with the subject “Newsletter registration” to

Donation via Paypal

Literature Recommendations

  • Lunn, S. & Petersen, SH. (2016), Too much – not enough. The representation of the body and the meaning of symptoms in patients with eating disorders. The Scandinavian Review of Psychoanalysis, 39(2), 126-136.
  • Tasca GA, Balfour L. (2014). Eating disorders and attachment: a contemporary psychodynamic perspective. Psychodyn Psychiatry. ;42(2):257-76
  • William, G. (1997), Reflections on some dynamics of eating disorders: No-entry defences and foreign bodies. Int. J. Psychoanal.78: 927-942.
  • Woolridge, T. (2018). Psychoanalytic Treatment of Eating Disorders. When Words Fail and Bodies Speak. New York: Routledge.

1 thought on “Episode 29: The Anorexic Dynamic. Or: Why eating disorders are not about the food”

  1. M. Isabel Cruz

    Would love to translate it to Spanish.

    M. Isabel Cruz
    Chilean Psychoanalyst (APCh)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. If you choose to provide your name and email address so we can contact you, we will save this information on our website for this purpose only and we will not share it with any third party.