Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

First Advisor

Jane Armstrong


This thesis examines the experience of body image and self image are for a sufferer with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. Themes and symbols are explored and interpreted in art work that was produced in six session of individual art therapy. The sessions were designed to deal with issues and problems that had been discussed previously, or that became relevant during each session. The study is conducted from an interpretive perspective. It concentrates on the transference of the internal unconscious in the artwork created by, Michelle, who suffers from anorexia nervosa. The interpretation is from a western art therapy and self psychology perspective. The study explores how the repetition of depiction of self through creative expression in art work, can lead to greater awareness about body image, control issues and self image in a client with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. It is shown that relatedness to art work and creative expression gives positive reinforcement to the client, Michelle, in her sense of awareness regarding prevalent issues in her life. Repeated symbols and visual metaphors are discussed in relation to both Michelle’s life and her struggle with her eating disorder, and to the construction of anorexia nervosa.

Included in

Art Therapy Commons