Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.

Author: Randy K. Hardman, PhD

Broken Hearts

image001This heart is covered by a dark cloud with empty space around the heart.


image003This is a heart of gold that is “always broken” and “Always feeling pain.”


image005Her heart is in a cage and bleeding green blood.  The green blood represents how she does not feel healthy and feels different from everyone else.


image007She feels a lot of pain in her heart and feels like it is locked.


image009Patient feels like part of her heart is a mystery to her.


image011This heart is broken with a tornado of acid reflux burning ulcers in her stomach.


image013There is a scared little girl who was abused still in her heart. The heart is fenced off with a “no trespassing” sign and danger” tape warns others to keep out.  There are also black tear drops throughout her heart.


image015The black spikes around the heart are painful and will keep people away.  Her heart is broken and burning inside.  The green eating disorder monster is lurking just below her heart.


image017There is a brick wall enclosing this gray heart.  At the bottom of the heart there is a gray cord leading to a remote control where other people and outside influences control her feelings.


image019This heart is seeking balance and growth.  However, the eating disorder and the negative mind, represented by the snake, are preventing her heart from being properly nourished.


image021This heart is torn.  One half is locked in a cage by the eating disorder.  The other half is desperately wanting to be loved.



Healing Hearts

image023This heart is starting to feel life and growth again.  Her heart is a flower with blue and red petals.  The blue is peace and the red is warmth.


image025     image027 She feels her heart has grown and shines more now that she is feeling some relief from her eating disorder.


image029The heart is feeling love and warmth.  It is warming up the rest of the body.  There is still a black tear drop of pain in the center of the heart.


image031The body is divided into sections.  The heart has its own section to radiate love.  It is not yet radiating throughout the body.


image033She compared her heart to the glass case in “The Beauty and the Beast” which kept the flower alive forever.  Despite everything that she has been through, she can feel the flame of life in her heart.  Client related that her gratitude has kept her alive through everything.


image035This heart still feels confusion but is beginning to break down the brick wall that has been surrounding it for so long.  She feels better able to give and receive love.  She feels more hopeful about her future growth.


image037In the beginning of treatment (left side) her heart was exploding from keeping her sexual abuse a secret since childhood.  She felt a lot of pain and anger in her heart. Towards the end of treatment (right side) her heart was a bright flame that could hvae a powerful influence on others.


image039In the beginning of treatment (right side) she was only feeling warmth in her heart.  The rest of her body felt numb.  As her heart became warmer (middle) the ice began to melt causing a tidal wave of thoughts in her head.  By the end of her treatment (left side) she was feeling warmth and life from her heart throughout her body.


image041In the beginning of treatment (right side) her heart was smaller and more contained. Her heart was not expressing very much.  Further into treatment (left side) her heart began to swell.  She began to express more of her brightness, the yellow beams radiating up, and more of her sadness, the tear drops falling from the heart.


image043     image045 In the beginning of therapy the client felt that her heart was a mystery.  She had a hard time knowing what was happening in her heart.  Further into therapy, the client recognized her heart as uniquely her own.  She reported that she is learning to trust her heart.