In an investigation of eating disorders from an object relations and self psychological perspective, which originally began as a personal inquiry into bulimia, the psychoanalytic framework for anorexia and bulimia is examined. Although these theories tend to generalize all disturbed relationships with food as “eating disorders” and discuss the category as a whole, considering the differences between anorexia and bulimia, in symptom manifestation, causation, and treatment, provides a more complete understanding of the eating disordered patient in her psychic structure and relationship with reality, the external world, and others. Ultimately, these differences complicate the approach to psychoanalytic treatment, but recognition of where anorexic and bulimic patients diverge may imbue the therapeutic space with new hope.
This capstone paper introduces the concept and theory of Integrated Shame. It first provides a review of the development of shame in psychoanalysis: how it emerged, why it was ignored as such, and how it was reintroduced into this field. It then presents and explores major theories that have defined the origin and components of the effect of shame. I use my own case illustration to further clarify the issue at hand and I terminate with presenting contemporary psychoanalytic theories that provide insight to both the experience of Integrated Shame as well as possible treatment solutions. I conclude by saying that Integrated Shame would be best treated using Summer’s phenomenological approach primarily due to the extensive influence of Kohutian Self Psychology.
By approaching traditional philosophical problems through psychoanalytic theory, we may learn something about the nature of our ethical principles as well as the nature of the self in the face of dominating forces. Theorists such as Jonathan Lear, Jessica Benjamin, and Frank Summers provide a radical position for the psychoanalyst, which rebels against hegemony and hierarchy within the socio-political realm. This paper relates the work of these three theorists, revealing the possibility of psychoanalysis to help address philosophical problems and offer a basis for radical political change.