An invisible disability is an illness or malady that is not physically detectable. Because of the utterly hidden nature of invisible disabilities, there is much too little understanding of the illnesses that fall under this category. The lack of public awareness of invisible disabilities equals a lack of compassion for the people who have them. Can Art Bring Healing to Those with Eating Disorders?
An eating disorder is the perfect example of an invisible disability.
Eating disorders are multi-faceted and affect individuals differently. Physicians know this, and usually create a treatment plan that is unique to each person. Common therapies that may be integrated into an eating disorder treatment plan include nutrition counseling, psychotherapy, support groups, medications, and inpatient (as well as outpatient) programs. Can Art Bring Healing to Those with Eating Disorders?
In addition to tried-and-true therapies, non-traditional therapies (such as art therapy) are becoming increasingly popular in the treatment of eating disorders.
What Is Art Therapy? Can Art Bring Healing to Those with Eating Disorders?
If you’re unsure of what art therapy is, here’s an excellent definition from Eating Disorder Hope:
“Art therapy is an aspect of psychotherapy that utilizes art media as its principal mode of communication. Moreover, art therapy is the therapeutic use of art creation, within a professional relationship, by individuals who are experiencing trauma, illness, obstacles in living, or who seek greater personal improvement. This may encompass mental health problems, learning or physical difficulties, or life-limiting conditions.”
Art Therapy May Help People Heal from Eating Disorders
Did you know that art therapy may help people heal from eating disorders and put a stop to the destructive habits that characterize such illnesses? It’s true. In fact, many claim that art therapy is quite effective.
What art therapists do for individuals having eating disorders is dependent upon a patient’s case and a therapist’s discretion. However, body tracing is one example of an activity that may be performed by a patient within the context of an art therapy session.
As stated on The Center for Eating Disorders’ website, “This (body tracing) is an experiential art project used to help patients gain insight into the level of body image distortion they experience. Body tracings provide a visual tool that patients can safely use throughout their progress in treatment to challenge and discuss negative or distorted beliefs they may have about their bodies.”
As is the case with other types of creative therapies, art therapy is reported to promote self-expression, self-exploration and self-discovery in those affected by eating disorders. In short, art is helping people heal from the ravages of disordered eating.
Do YOU Think Art Is a Healing Agent?
So, do you think art is a healing agent? Should art therapy be a widely-used treatment for individuals struggling with eating disorders? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:
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