Re-Thinking Eating Disorders : Language, Emotion, and the Brain book cover
1st Edition

Re-Thinking Eating Disorders
Language, Emotion, and the Brain

ISBN 9781782205401
Published July 19, 2018 by Routledge
228 Pages

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Book Description

In Re-Thinking Eating Disorders: Language, Emotion, and the Brain, Barbara Pearlman integrates ideas from psychoanalysis, developmental psychology and cutting-edge neuroscience to produce a model of neural emotional processing which may underpin the development of an eating disorder.

Based on clinical observations over 30 years, this book explores how state change from symbolic to concrete thinking may be a key event that precedes an eating disorder episode. The book introduces this theory, and offers clinicians working with these challenging clients an entirely new model for treatment: internal language enhancement therapy (ILET). This easily teachable therapy is explored throughout the book with case studies and detailed descriptions of therapeutic techniques.

Re-Thinking Eating Disorders will appeal to students and practitioners working with this clinical group who are seeking an up-to-date and integrative approach to therapy.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents




Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 The Neurobiological Contribution to Understanding the Development of an Eating Disorder: Neurobiological Underpinnings of Eating Disorders

Chapter 3 A Conceptual Gap: Current Ideas in Eating Disorders and the Need for a New Treatment Approach

Chapter 4 Filling the Conceptual Gap: The Development of Symbolisation from a Developmental Neuropsychoanalytic Perspective

Chapter 5 Proposing A New Model of the Mind in Eating Disorders

Chapter 6 Theory and Practice

Chapter 7 The Problem With CBT

Chapter 8 ILET Therapy With ‘Emily’

Chapter 9 Conclusions



A: Glossary of Abbreviated Terms

B: The ILET Protocol

C: History Template

D: Information for Patients

E: Emotional Events Questionnaire (EEQ)

F. Baseline Measurements Pre- and Post-Treatment

G. Measures for Randomised Clinical Trials of ILET versus Treatment as Usual, CBT and/or IPT




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Barbara Pearlman, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, is an Honorary Fellow at the Centre for Clinical Neuropsychology Research, University of Exeter. In 2010, she was awarded a PhD for her theoretical work on the neurobiology of how emotions and language are processed in eating disorders, which lead to the creation of a new treatment: internal language enhancement therapy.


"What’s your gut feeling about this book?

Here’s mine: this is an extraordinary book. It draws together an impressive literature spanning developmental neurobiology, neuropsychoanalysis, Kleinian theory and the latest eating disorder treatment outcome data. In this regard alone, the book offers an impressive distillation of some very diverse theory and research findings.

However, it goes much further than presenting a novel intersection of theory and practice representing the first serious attempt to develop a neuroscientifically-based treatment for people with eating disorders. It introduces Internal Language Enhancement Therapy (ILET) which covers all the major bases of contemporary eating disorders neuroscience and incorporates this knowledge into the treatment model. Recent work on mentalizing fits neatly with the ILET model; and in this regard the current model is in the ‘good company’ of Winnicott, Fonagy, Target and Skådarud."

Dr. Ian Frampton, Senior Lecturer in Developmental Neuropsychology, Centre for Clinical Neuropsychology Research, University of Exeter