People with eating disorders often make desparate attempts to exert magical control over their bodies in response to the threats they experienced in relationships. Mary Levens takes the reader into the realm of magical thinking and its effect on ideas about eating and the body through a sensitive exploration of the images patients create in art therapy, in which themes of cannibalism constantly recur. Drawing on anthropology, religion and literature as well as psychoanalysis, she discusses the significance of these images and their implications for treatment of patients with eating disorders.
1. Introduction to Magic 2. Magic and Eating 3. Magical Control of the Body 4. Body Boundaries in Eating Disordered Patients 5. Eating and the Body and Eating the Body 6. Body Boundaries in Relation to Art 7. Art and Psychic Cannibalism 8. The Therapeutic Relationship 8. Why Art? Conclusion