Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Art Therapy




Art can be a powerful experience. In this project , the artwork of a client diagnosed as having "anorexia nervosa" is explored in terms of how her art expresses her personal conflicts and family dynamics. Due to the particular quality of the family system of which the anorexic is a part, it is extremely important to involve the family in the treatment plan. For this reason, the emphasis on the whole family , or more specifically, the way they relate with one another, is one prime focus in t he discussion of the client 's artwork in this study. Although the art experience is in itself a healing , integrating experience , the main objective in this project is more of a diagnostic nature; to see. how "anorexia nervosa" as a "family problem" may be depicted in the client ' s drawings. The implications for therapeutic work with such families is also discussed briefly at the end of the project.

Art therapy is particularly well suited to the treatment of "anorexic families. " Each of the parents and the child who are uniquely involved in the problem need to learn to distinguish between themselves and other family members. Art therapy is a useful tool in facilitating a greater sense of self and is a way of opening up communication of feelings and attitudes that were previously denied .

Included in

Art Practice Commons