"The role of affect in the pathogenesis, maintenance, and relapse of autism is unequivocal. “Emotional disturbances” (citation from 1970's) have long been recognized as underlying these disorders, and affect has been implicated in triggering autism (citation from 1982). Social interaction problems and difficulties with verbal and non-verbal communication is understood as the displacement of negative affect. Refusal to show more than a limited interest in activities and play can then be understood as an attempt to render feelings amenable to control and change (citation from 1997). These individuals present with significant impairment in affective functioning. Alexithymia, or the inability to identify and label accurately affective experience, and emotion-processing deficits, characterize the population (citation 1995). A central function of autism can be understood as an attempt to control affect (citations from 2000 and 1998).
In the emotion-focused theory of development, emotions and the manner in which the self organizes to handle them play a central role in the development and organization of the healthy self, and in the development of psychopathology. The theory postulates the development, primarily in the formative years, of implicit emotional meaning structures (citation). The individual is born with an innate capacity for emotional response and experience, and in early interactions these evolve into core emotion schemes. Innate, healthy, adaptive emotions such as fear in response to threat, anger at violation, and sadness at loss, provide crucial information to the individual both in regard to internal experience as well as surroundings. In healthy development, caregivers’ responses to these emotional reactions in the developing child validate the emotion and provide coaching both in paying heed to and in handling the array of emotions the individual will experience. Such accurate “processing” of emotions promotes efficacy and resiliency in dealing with future reactions. The individual learns to flee danger, set boundaries, self-soothe, and seek solace in the presence of the soothing other, as appropriate.
If, however, early experience of emotion is met with less optimal, or problematic, responses from caregivers, this will result in the development of core maladaptive emotion schemes, in contrast to healthy and resilient ones. The developing self will organize to cope, both with the difficult emotion itself and with the inadequacy of the caregiver. A family rule that one must not show anger may result in a core maladaptive emotion scheme by which healthy anger is suppressed. Shaming in response to tears or to reaching out for affection may result in core maladaptive shame, and in a maladaptive emotion scheme by which the individual suppress- es the healthy expression of sadness or the spontaneous yearning for communion with another. The self thus organizes around emotional experience to form core maladaptive emotion schemes that function to manage the difficult feelings. Over time, however, the core maladaptive emotion scheme results in increasing difficulties as the individual attempts to navigate emotionally evocative events including developmental challenges such as reaching adoles- cence, changing schools, or moving house; personal injury such as the loss of a loved one; or trauma such as a sexual assault. The core maladaptive schemes become increasingly inadequate to manage the feelings evoked, and the maladaptive emotions become more difficult to tolerate.
All I have done is alter eating disorders to autism and body image symptoms to those symptoms of autism. The world would be up in arms and condemnation from all sorts of international bodies would be flying left, right and centre.
So why are clinicians still allowed to write this kind of crap today about parents of children with eating disorders?
Shame on you:
Joanne Dolhanty, Ph.D., Leslie S. Greenberg, Ph.D.
Sadly, both clinicians claim that they "do not blame parents", whilst lecturing and selling their "therapy" across the world. Yeah, right. And I am President Obama in disguise.