Incorporating art in your eating disorder recovery work can be helpful, inspiring and deepen your healing process. It can release joy and a sense of adventure, too. *
If you are open and willing to explore through art you can use a variety of approaches to both hasten and enrich self awareness.
This helps you to:
- understand and clarify eating disorder triggers;
- gain new strength for recovery work
- increase commitment to the healing journey
Various methods I use in my practice are:
- sketching, painting or drawing images from your journal
- sketching instead of journaling;
- sketching images from dreams and imagery work;
- sketching items in your home environment;
- using paintings in art galleries, museums, my office or books to evoke thoughts and feelings;
- "playing around" with color and formto remember or learn for the first time what it's like to play;
- using any kind of media including clay, paint, crayon, chalk, pencil, "found objects" for collage;
- discovering how different kinds of music influences your experience and your art making.
These activities support and strengthen your self esteem. By experimenting with various art making forms you discover a sense of wonder and appreciation of your own unexpected depths and capacity for rich expression.
Art, including writing and poetry, is also a rich avenue to psychological and spiritual self discovery. So is dance, which brings in the expression of the body, crucial for eating disorder recovery. And yes, my patients dance, usually in the privacy of their homes when no one else is home, but sometimes in my office too.
How has experience with art of any kind and in any way influenced your recovery work?
* photo byJim Pennucci from Hope, USA