When I work with a client living with depression, I know the words my client and I will define in the dictionary will be words I know too well. Depression and liver damage were the two conditions for which I created The Bodyscapes Technique.
“I was in therapy for three years. I learned some good things. But, I still have depression. I thought I would try something new.” My client reminded me of my own tenacious spirit to continue to seek ways to understand more fully living with depression. So, we started. Anxiety, depression, stomach and scared.
The word list grew. As we tracked our key words, depression, anxiety, stomach and scared, we found words which expanded her definition of her experience with depression. These words fell into a series of combined experience. … depression & hallow. ….want of originality & unsubstantial……uninteresting & matter of no import…… stomach & pain ……bladder & burden…… worried & irritable…… malaise & annoy…… to be in limbo & procrastinating….. distress & dreamland…… displeasure & lull….. dull & lethargy
Stomach & pain, bladder & burden, malaise & annoy, these words are the important preliminary research for a Bodyscapes drawings. They inform the choices each clients makes as they decide which organ to draw, how large to make that image on the page and what colors to smear across the shape. In the drawing above, we find a large stomach in pain taking up most of the page. Red color symbolizes pain. Spiral marks show irritability. Hot vibrant yellow sounds the liver and stomach.
“They yellow is the burden and the distress. It’s also a bit of the dreamland. Because depression makes me feel alone like I am living a different reality than everyone else. Alone at home, I am sad living in my dreamland.”
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