Self-Expression as a Form of Healing:
How Art Therapy is Helping Those in Eating Disorder Treatment Thrive
These days, a number of alternative forms of treatment and self expression as a form of healing are beginning to emerge. Some of these therapies have proven themselves in the treatment of alcoholism, drug addiction and substance abuse, while others have been adapted from other parts of the healthcare landscape. Dealing with an eating disorder is never easy. Those suffering from eating disorders know that all too well, as do their loved ones. For many years, the methods used to treat anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders have been somewhat limited, but that is finally starting to change.
Art Therapy and the Treatment of Eating Disorders
One of the most promising parts of the new eating disorder treatment landscape involves the use of artwork and artistic expression.1 Art therapy is growing in importance and is used everywhere from inpatient treatment centers to outpatient community centers.
This unique form of eating disorder treatment can take many forms, and many centers have adapted it to meet the unique needs of their patients. In some centers, those in recovery from eating disorders use drawing and painting to express themselves, communicating with their artwork what they have been unable to say in words.
Other Forms of Art Therapy for Eating Disorder Treatment
In other types of art therapy, those in recovery from eating disorders use dance and movement, expressing themselves and gaining a new level of comfort with their bodies.2 This form of art therapy can be surprisingly effective, and it is already being adapted into programming by many successful treatment centers. No matter how it is used, art therapy can be effective in treating all kinds of eating disorders.
A Holistic Approach to Healing
It should be noted that art therapy is not a standalone form of treatment for those in recovery from eating disorders and their families. Rather, it is an integral part of a multifaceted approach to the treatment of an eating disorder – one that focuses on treating the whole person and uncovering the root cause of their issues.
If you love someone who is suffering from an eating disorder, it is important to know your options. Alternative forms of treatment, including art therapy, can contribute to long-term recovery. Speak with a healthcare professional today about your options for participating in art therapy.