This was drawn for me today by a client who gave approval for this to be written about. 30 year old female who as a teenager had quite significant anorexia. She is no longer anorexic but eating and weight are still difficult for her. As is often the case with such eating disorders they have the presence of an active Lillith or demon subpersonality. The Lillith, as we know is developed by the young child as a means to survive adverse circumstances in childhood. But Lillith is a paradox. Its basic psychological position is, “I am going to help you survive, even if it kills me”. Hence we end up with behaviour like anorexia which is a unsophisticated attempt by the child to survive, that may eventually kill the person.
When I find a client has such an aspect of their personality I will invite them to draw it which she has done before and did so again today and is the female figure on the right. I invite the person to also write the feelings it has which are the top three and the things it thinks which are the bottom three.
What I did different this time was to include the drawing of another person which is the male figure on the left. Her yet to be found male partner, who are holding hands. This I found added an extra interesting insight into the psychology of the Lillith in this client. Which I will certainly experiment with again and this forms part of my panel presentation at the upcoming 2014 conference in San Francisco.
The adding in of an affectionate and supportive figure and how this impacts on the Lillith. Does this increase the pathology or ease it? And what are the longer term impacts when this is repeated a number of times.
She has considerable difficulty establishing a long term functional relationship with a male, which led to a discussion of what I consider to be a important feature of some anorexic females. That of infantilisation. She reports a dislike of a sexually mature female body anda liking of amenorrhoea.
Sometimes people do odd things with their bodies
Some female anorexics are seeking to make their bodies (and therefore sense of self) pre pubertal. But this is a bit of a digression. The main point at hand is the way of allowing her to understand her Lillith and how it can interact with another. Interesting addition to the technique of therapy with the Lillith.