Art Therapy and Eating Disorders

Art Therapy and Eating Disorders: The Self as Significant Form

Mury Rabin
Copyright Date: 2003
Pages: 256
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/rabi12768
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  • Book Info
    Art Therapy and Eating Disorders
    Book Description:

    Art Therapy and Eating Disorders is a step-by-step approach to a new and extremely promising technique for treating people with eating disorders -- children as well as adults, male and female sufferers alike -- that has proven to be a crucial aid to identification, prevention, and intervention. Mury Rabin demonstrates how her award-winning art therapy technique, known as Phenomenal and Nonphenomenal Body Image Tasks or "PNBIT," can be used by clinicians other than art therapists and shows its effectiveness in combination with diverse therapeutic techniques.

    Unlike traditional therapy programs that treat symptoms, this technique focuses on root causes and consists of a series of tasks -- some phenomenal: weight recording, mirror viewing, and body dimension estimates; others not: chromatic family line drawings and body image mandalas. The book includes five case studies that illustrate how the PNBIT technique functions in practice.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-50733-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. xi-xvi)

    The reader who seeks a succinct definition of art therapy will be disappointed. Art therapy applications vary, as any therapy, according to the individual who presents with a particular problem to a therapist who will direct treatment methods applying to that person at a particular time, in a particular setting. Treatment that is based on the definition of a syndrome documented in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which provides guidelines and a number for each disorder, often limit the critera for diagnosis. In the push for efficiency and economy, hospitals are reimbursed for treatment based on...

  5. CHAPTER 1 Significance of Appropriate Body Image
    (pp. 1-10)

    This book explores the use of phenomenal and nonphenomenal body image tasks as therapeutic treatment in anorexia nervosa and obesity. Treatment measures for these syndromes have been major topics of theory and research in recent years as these and other eating disorders have increased in frequency and even impacted on young children. There has been general failure to find lasting solutions to management of these intractable conditions, which have a high rate of morbidity and mortality (Weiner 1985).

    The author’s interest in these concepts developed while working with groups of chronic alcoholic and drug-abused patients as well as those with...

  6. CHAPTER 2 Body Image and the Self
    (pp. 11-21)

    From the day of birth, when a baby cries and is picked up and fed, she experiences this as both satisfying and pleasurable. She makes the connection between the physiological and psychological elements related to feeding, which becomes a lifetime scenario for nurturing. In the normal course of development the child ultimately learns to feed herself. The obese and anorectic have not developed, or may have lost, the ability to self-nurture; they eat but do not feed themselves. Never satiated, both become people who eat and continue to cry.

    The bodily response to caloric restriction is the same whether it...

  7. CHAPTER 3 The Therapy of Art Therapy
    (pp. 22-26)

    For a long time researchers believed that the two halves of the brain worked independently of each other. The left hemisphere, considered the more important half, specialized in the activities concerned with verbal and analytical tasks, i.e., speech, writing, and mathematics. The right side housed the emotional and visual attributes, considered a lesser function. Studies in creativity, art, and music have since revealed their contribution to the development of the intellectual function. Thus it is more likely that the two parts work together. Human activity begins a flow across the corpus callosum, the band of fibers that connect the two...

  8. CHAPTER 4 Phenomenal and Nonphenomenal Body Image Tasks in the Treatment of Eating Disorders and Other Addictions (PNBIT): The Method
    (pp. 27-42)

    By the time a person suffering from an eating disorder presents himself at the art therapist’s office for treatment, he has identified himself as a failure. I have often worked with individuals who have reached a chronic stage and have been referred by a previous therapist or medical professional where there has been no, or limited, progress in treatment. This creates an urgent, crisislike environment. The client is apprehensive and resistent to treatment. It is important to establish the art therapist as a supportive educator, who accepts the person who is a patient but believes that patienthood is a transitory...

  9. CHAPTER 5 PNBIT Clinical Applications
    (pp. 43-150)

    The PNBIT protocol has been developed over twenty years of clinical art psychotherapy treatment in a variety of settings: at Mount Sinai Hospital and Medical Center in New York and Phelps Memorial Hospital in Tarrytown, New York, among others. Populations included drug and alcohol as well as eating disorder addiction. A traditional research method was followed with each of a series of patients referred to the project from several facilities including Mount Sinai. An abstract of the study is in appendix 19 (Rabin 1987).

    Following are five case studies. Each describes the patient’s presenting problem as well as her progress....

  10. CHAPTER 6 Conclusion
    (pp. 151-159)

    The airing of information on the hazards and devastation of eating disorder syndromes ebbs and flows. Periodically it goes underground: for the women the return to the closet and for the men, who until recently never came out of the gyms in the first place, remain well hidden. There is no scientific consensus on either the etiology or effective longterm self-management of these insidious syndromes.

    The forces that impact on the individual who is struggling to identify herself as a unique person are multidimentional. The attempt to remedy the problem by addressing the symptom, whether it is expressed in an...

  11. Afterwords: Toward an Ethical Society
    (pp. 160-164)

    Art has always been a part of daily life, everywhere, whether we are aware of it or not. Artists were a normal part of culture in primitive times; when art became a more directed endeavor, artists were considered to be a separate group within a society. Art stemming from shamans, witch doctors, and religious ritual was feared and kept at a distance.

    Artists will always produce art—no matter the rejection. But left to wander in an inhospitable environment where they are considered to be out of the mainstream, they may become hostile and their work will reflect these feelings....

  12. APPENDIX 1 Extracts of Exit Tape Recordings
    (pp. 165-178)
  13. APPENDIX 2 Self Report Form
    (pp. 179-180)
  14. APPENDIX 3 Therapist Report Form
    (pp. 181-182)
  15. APPENDIX 4 Sequence and Time Chart
    (pp. 183-184)
  16. APPENDIX 5 Outline Drawings: Figure Selection, Male
    (pp. 185-185)
  17. APPENDIX 6 Outline Drawings: Figure Selection, Female
    (pp. 186-186)
  18. APPENDIX 7 Body Dimension Estimate and Measurements: Linear, Male
    (pp. 187-188)
  19. APPENDIX 8 Body Dimension Estimate and Measurement: Circumference, Male
    (pp. 189-190)
  20. APPENDIX 9 Body Dimension Estimate and Measurement: Linear, Female
    (pp. 191-192)
  21. APPENDIX 10 Body Dimension Estimate and Measurement: Circumference, Female
    (pp. 193-194)
  22. APPENDIX 11 Sandworlds Grid
    (pp. 195-195)
  23. APPENDIX 12 Questionnaires
    (pp. 196-202)
  24. APPENDIX 13 Medical Release Form
    (pp. 203-203)
  25. APPENDIX 14 Medical Questionnaire
    (pp. 204-204)
  26. APPENDIX 15 Abstract from “The Yo-Yo in Art Therapy: The Use of Art Therapy in Eating Disorders”
    (pp. 205-206)
  27. APPENDIX 16 Art Therapy Images as an Index to Suicide
    (pp. 207-208)
  28. APPENDIX 17 Metropolitan Life Insurance Height and Weight Tables and Frame Size Estimate Chart (1983)
    (pp. 209-210)
  29. APPENDIX 18 Abstract from “Phenomenal and Nonphenomenal Body Image Tasks in the Treatment of Eating Disorders”
    (pp. 211-212)
  30. APPENDIX 19 The Scope of Art Therapy
    (pp. 213-214)
  31. APPENDIX 20 Relationship of Issues in Eating Disorders
    (pp. 215-215)
  32. APPENDIX 21 Figure Selection II
    (pp. 216-216)
  33. APPENDIX 22 Color Chart
    (pp. 217-217)
  34. APPENDIX 23 Tissue Box Estimate
    (pp. 218-218)
  35. REFERENCES
    (pp. 219-224)
  36. INDEX
    (pp. 225-232)