Art Therapy and Anorexia
When I was working with patients in a psychiatric hospital, there was a 14-year-old frightened girl diagnosed with anorexia.
Initially, she was quite resistant to the art therapy experience. She would come into the room with arms folded defiantly and not participate.
One day she came in and said: "My stomach feels like a tangle. I am so nervous all the time. I am actually embarrassed too, because I don't know why I feel this way. I saw all the art materials out on the table and something clicked for me. I saw a ball of tangled yarn. I thought, this is me, how I feel most of the time, tangled and jumbled."
She began keeping a visual journal with the various drawings she made throughout the week. This helped her start seeing the distortions in her thinking, as well as her body image.
The art therapy sessions gave her a way to process and identify some of her mixed-up thoughts and feelings.