Speaking the unspeakable: Artistic expression in eating disorder research and schema therapy

Lisa Hodge, Susan Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Offering the opportunity for research participants to draw pictures can be useful in uncovering multiple meanings to develop, support, and supplement other research findings. The processes of research engaged in this study, exploring experiences of eating disorder and sexual abuse, gave women a voice to describe and process their historical and current responses. The first section reports the response of one research participant in a study that used spoken, written and visual data to examine seven women's experiences of eating disorders, and child sexual abuse. The second section presents a case study to demonstrate how drawings created by clients in Schema Therapy for eating disorders can provide a pathway to access emotional states, which may otherwise be inaccessible through verbal dialogue. Using drawing enables research participants to share insights and experiences in non-verbal ways. Drawing as part of schema therapy can provide the opportunity for the practitioner and the client to feel and experience complex emotional states related to current and past experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


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