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Art therapy and eating disorders : introducing feminist post-structuralist perspectives


Art therapy and eating disorders : introducing feminist post-structuralist perspectives

Butryn, Renata (2008) Art therapy and eating disorders : introducing feminist post-structuralist perspectives. Other thesis, Concordia University.

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MR45278.pdf - Accepted Version


This research addresses the phenomenon of eating disorders, specifically anorexia and bulimia, among contemporary Western women, with an aim to examine the usefulness of integrating feminist post-structuralist perspectives into art therapy for the understanding and treatment of female clients. Feminist post-structuralists share a sociopolitical view of eating disorders as attempts to reconcile the oppressive contradictory femininity that is embedded in Western gendered mind-body discourse, within which femininity is equated with the devalued body and construed negatively as the "other" of the masculine mind-as-self. Feminist post-structuralists describe the gendered mind-body discourse as pervading popular culture and psycho-medical theories and treatments, which tends to reproduce the contradictory femininity and undermine recovery. This theoretical study is based on reviews of feminist post-structuralist literature related to eating disorders and of literature on feminist art therapy, postmodern art therapy, and art therapy with eating disorders. The study demonstrates that feminist post-structuralist perspectives can increase art therapists' awareness of: the role of sociopolitical context; patriarchal assumptions in theories of human development and in symbolic representation; gender and power issues in treatment; and how visual, metaphorical, concrete, and embodied aspects of working with images can subvert the gendered mind-body discourse and ultimately reconstruct women's femininity.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Creative Arts Therapies
Item Type:Thesis (Other)
Authors:Butryn, Renata
Series Name:Research Paper
Pagination:vii, 94 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Creative Arts Therapies
Thesis Supervisor(s):Leclerc, Josée
ID Code:975933
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:17
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:41
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