VISTAS Client Characteristics and Needs

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Drama Therapy as a Counseling Intervention for Individuals With Eating Disorders

Dixie D. Meyer


Creative art therapies, a form of non-verbal therapies, have a unique approach to working with clients. They incorporate art, music, dance, drama, play, or poetry into counseling. These approaches allow clients additional options for conveying their feelings and give clients another outlet to explore their issues. Covey (1990) reported that only 10% of what individuals communicate is through words; therefore, allowing clients additional options to traditional talk therapy may enhance the therapeutic environment. Aside from looking at communication patterns of individuals, individuals with certain mental disorders may have additional needs that make traditional talk therapy less conducive for them. For example, anorexia nervosa is often considered a disorder with deeper pathology than relations to body image. Holmes and Karp (1991) state that women with anorexia nervosa struggle to associate their condition to something unrelated to the body, thus, making it harder for counselors to make any headway in treatment with verbal exploration of issues.

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