Considerations for Instituting an Anti-Anorexic/ Anti-Bulimic ‘Therapy’ Practice
DAVID EPSTON (WITH ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO LATHER, P. ‘GETTING SMART’ (1991)
- What might an anti-anorexic/bulimic counter-practice be so that it was just not another technology of regulation, surveillance and policing? How might such a practice subvert disciplinary power rather than be its accomplice?
- How can an anti-anorexic/therapy take a critical stance and deconstruct those practices that have been ‘naturalized’? How can a therapist indicate their commitment to critique to the persons they meet and remain true to that commitment by way of their conduct?
- How can an anti-anorexic/bulimic counter-practice generate ‘knowledge’ in such a manner that the power linked to it is dispersed to all those who have participated in the knowledge-making? How can a logico-scientific approach and what Lukacs refers to as ‘phantom objectivity’ (the concealed relationship between the expert observer and the observed, ‘diseased’ (object) be replaced with a collaborative enquiry guided by curiosity and uncertainty? And how might we make these counter-practices themselves ‘transparent’ to all the parties to the collaboration? How can we privilege ‘local’ or ‘indigenous’ knowledges, which Foucault refers to as “subjugated knowledges” over ‘expert’ knowledges, “so that criticism performs its work (see Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1980, NY, Pantheon, pg.82) How can we assist in the processes involved in the generation, documentation and circulation of such an anti-anorexic/bulimic knowledge?
- How can the temptation of global, universalizing explanatory schemes and the self-satisfactions associated with them be resisted? How can we be contented, and not unnerved, by less certain forms of knowing, accepting that the ‘truth’ is “locally and politically situated?” (Popkewitz, 1984). Can we pursue the constructivist request for “new models of knowledge?” (Lincoln, 1990).
- How do I admit the limitations of these new kinds of collaborative practices as well as consider the new possibilities these practices make possible? “How do I take a provisional stance toward a subject and progressively elaborate the nature of the problem through the intelligibilities of others?” (Gergen, M. 1991) How can I do theory with people rather than on or about people? How can this theory produce an evocative power that resonates with people’s lived experience? (Lather, P., 1991).
- How can I substitute the immunity of professional distance for practices of co-construction, co-authorship, co-research or any other descriptions that try to capture and legitimate new kinds of professional-client relationships?