05 September 2009

"Inside Out: Portrait of an ED" by Nadia Shivack. (A Book Review.)

Though, more than likely, I would not purchase this book (I borrowed it from the library), it was an interesting look at how therapeutic the arts can be for those struggling with eating disorders. In my own experience, drawing and collaging have been amazing venues for my own powerful and destructive thoughts; however, as Nadia Shivack shows, art therapy alone does not make the "voices" disappear, nor will it "cure" you when you struggle with a severe and chronic ED.

For those who do not struggle with an ED, reading the typical, non-fiction "informative manual" may be educative, but it doesn't illustrate the unsaid, secretive, and painful world of the sufferer. Shivack's revealing artwork, though it may seem child-like, gives an eye-opening look at the back-and-forth, "good vs evil" beliefs inside the eating disordered mind. She does this without any false claims at being "cured" or completely "recovered." Even in closing, she finishes her book by explaining that she has had many hospitalisations since its conception- but she reassures the reader by saying that she has continued to strive toward recovery, using her creativity to aid her in that goal.

"Inside Out: Portrait of an Eating Disorder" by Nadia Shivack is a good book for many different readers: alternative therapists, those looking for introductive knowledge about EDs (whether suffering from an ED or not), and those struggling with the idea that there is hope for recovery.

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