Larger than Life
Six Women and Their Battle with Obesity as Seen Through the Eyes of a Dramatherapist

Paper: 978 1 78220 554 8 / $43.95
Published: July 2017  

Publisher: Karnac Books
240 pp., 6" x 9"
Larger Than Life is aimed at anyone interested in the causes of obesity and its treatment. It describes a dramatherapeutic intervention of 12 sessions in which six women take part. The reader is taken behind the scenes and experiences what it means to be overweight or obese– the despair and depression that can result from failed attempts to become slim as well as the satisfaction and joy that can come from effective therapy.

The book begins with a discussion on the issue of obesity, attitudes toward large women through the ages, current ways of dealing with the problem, and why psychotherapy might be an effective method of treatment. The six participants are then introduced in the form of an initial interview, in which readers find out about their attitudes toward food and eating and the problems they face in their everyday lives. This is followed by a discussion of dramatherapy and why it might be an effective means of treating eating disorders. Then, the 12 sessions are transcribed, including much of the dialogue that takes place, together with an explanation of the activities and a commentary on the progress made by the participants. In an interview at the end of the intervention, the participants talk about the group and what they felt they gained from it. The therapist then summarizes what she considers was achieved. Finally, in brief telephone conversations that take place three years later, the possible long-term effects of the intervention are discussed with the participants.

Table of Contents:
About the authors

Part I: A preamble
Part II: The participant travellers
Part III: The dramatherapy journey
Part IV: The journey’s end: the participants’ contributions
Part V: Three years later: final conclusions


Reviews & Endorsements:
"Ian Robertson and Katerina Couroucli-Robertson’s new book is a compelling argument for applying dramatherapy to the treatment of women who struggle with obesity. They describe a highly creative process thoughtfully and sensitively. In the end, the validation for their work lies in both the creative process of dramatherapy and in the relationship they foster with the clients, which, over time, yields significant change."
- Robert Landy, PhD, Professor of Educational Theatre and Applied Psychology, Founding Director, Drama Therapy Program, New York University
"Larger than Life is a very important book both for dramatherapists and for people working with obesity issues. It contains detailed descriptions of the six people involved in the therapy, the methods and techniques, outcome interviews and therapeutic reflections. A must for all psychotherapists, their clients and their families."
- Sue Jennings, Leader of Research at the Institute of Neuro-Dramatic-Play, Honorary Professor at the University of Derby, and Professor of Play, European Dramatherapy Federation