The fundamental hypothesis of this paper is that eating disorders, and the behaviours/ attitudes related to them, are indicators of specific emotional strategies. In particular, and with reference to Alexithymic dissociative processes developed through insecure early attachment relationships, anorexia is analysed as indicative of an affective regulation avoidance strategy. In the light of this theoretical premise, the authors posit a particularly effectiveness of treatment that uses approaches referencing Attachment-related therapies and Affective balance therapies. Thus, as an example Emotionally Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) is examined and its efficacy discussed and connected to theoretical hypotheses and empirical research related to developmental and intersubjective processes of affective regulation.
Keywords: Emotionally Focused Family Therapy, alexithymia, anorexia, attachment, affective regulation, intersubjectivity.