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Salvador Minuchin is widely recognized as one of the preeminent family therapists in the world. He has been described, in the American Journal of Psychotherapy, as “a most original innovator, a superb clinician, and an outstanding teacher.” Now, in this pioneering work, he and his co-authors apply the effectiveness of family therapy techniques to an illness that has long resisted treatment—anorexia nervosa.
The purpose of their book is threefold: to develop a new theory of psychosomatic disease, to confirm it with scientific data, and to show it unfolding in actual therapeutic situations with anorectic patients. Drawing upon their own clinical experience and illustrating their views with case studies, they advance a new approach that places the locus of the illness not in the individual but in the family. Their method, which has been highly successful, requires the active involvement of the therapist as an agent of change within the family, stimulating crises that are severe enough to shake up the system and allow it to reform in new and healthier patterns.
This book has revolutionary implications, not just for anorectic patients but for those suffering from all other psychosomatic disease. Whereas such illnesses to date have often eluded treatment, the approach through family therapy holds out the promise of future successes.