A Starving Madness

Tales of hunger, hope & healing in psychotherapy

by Judith Ruskay Rabinor, Ph.D.

Healing a Starving Madness

"Gripping." "Inspirational." "Heartwrenching." These words have been used to describe a new book by Judith Ruskay Rabinor, Ph.D., entitled A Starving Madness: Tales of Hunger, Hope, and Healing in Psychotherapy (Gürze Books ©2002). Rabinor, a New York therapist, has spent the past 20 years helping patients overcome eating and body-image disorders.

Storytelling is one of Rabinor's primary therapeutic tools and is the basis of  A Starving Madness.  Among the stories are those of young man who has to first overcome shame about his eating disorder before his recovery can progress; a 15-year-old girl whose anorexia is triggered by her inability to verbalize feelings about her parents' divorce; a woman in her fifties who struggled secretly with bulimia for more than a decade; and a patient who, after years of therapy and a hospitalization, quits therapy still committed to being dangerously thin.

By developing mutually authentic relationships with her patients, Rabinor tries to help them unravel the threads of their unfulfilled hungers that have become twisted into an obsession with food and weight. In addition to affecting patients, the therapeutic process changes the therapist, as well. "Each time I open my office and heart to a new person, we establish an intimate connection that enriches both of our lives."