9. Eating Disorder
The following vignette represents a crucial point in ongoing Provocative Therapy received by a patient with an eating disorder. These problems can be difficult and refractory and this short piece of dialogue does not represent to be simplistic about these complex problems. It aims rather to show that humour and reverse psychology in the context of the Golden Rule of Provocative Therapy, can be used with caution – even in this extreme case of June, a very attractive but suspiciously thin young lady.
June: I have an eating disorder.
Provocative Therapy: But you seem to have a perfect body, you could appear on the cover of magazines.
Jane: No, no I’m too thin.
Provocative Therapist: Not at all, there are men who crave women with bodies like yours. They say to each other: ‘The closer the bone, the sweeter the meat!’
Jane: (flinching) That’s disgusting!
Provocative Therapist: Not at all. If you didn’t have these guys, women like you wouldn’t get laid and that would be a waste. You know there is even a porn site called Anorexic Sex. You should…
Jane: I don’t want to know anything about it, I want to get better.
Provocative Therapist: You want to lose even more weight?
Jane: Yes. No I mean No! No!
FOLLOW UP: After about a year of Provocative Therapy on a weekly basis, June was much improved. She went on to marry and have children and is now a normal weight. In this case the Provocative Therapist had to be patient and to listen carefully at times without making provocative remarks. However every now and then humour was used to great effect and appreciated by the patient who never doubted the intentions of the Provocative Therapist - in spite of him making remarks similar to those above. The Golden Rule of Provocative Therapy: Affection in the heart and a twinkle in the eye was kept in mind at all times in this case and the result was that a condition that is notoriously difficult to treat was initially ameliorated and finally cured. The patient has been of normal weight for more than a decade now.