I’m an artist, art therapist and school counsellor – I’ve had some great success working with clients with disordered eating and thought I’d note some of the activities I’ve developed to use with these clients, so that anyone else can use them if they like for their own healing, sessions and reflections.
Keep in mind that these activities are designed to be facilitated by art materials in an art therapy session but you can adapt them for your own use.
Eating Disorder Therapy Activity #1 – The Mind Balance
- Value exploration… what is taking my focus and what do I want to take focus and feed in my life? Using different sized shapes to compare how values like health, diet, exercise, family, romantic relationships, education, spirituality and more exist in ones life.
- Thought management… what is the extreme thought versus helpful thought. Make a list, put a line down the centre of the page to do this. Think about how to achieve balance with more helpful thoughts.
- Apply this to your previous image
- On a balloon write down the most difficult thought that often feeds your mind… blow the balloon up, and pop the balloon to let go of this thought. Choose the helpful balanced thought to verse this extreme thought and continue to practice this.
Activity #2 – Play with your food
- Using tiny teddies (a carbohydrate with attitude) eat mindfully and choose not to feel guilty before eating it.
Activity #3 – My heart is a part of my body
- On one side of paper draw your body shape, explore realistic and non-realistic self-concept and size.
- On the other side draw your heart and surround this with words of encouragements that symbolize beauty. This may be something that others or self perceives about self.
Activity #4 – Moisture and Nourish
Place your hands on the most rejected body part, speak to yourself to heal and care for it. Ask yourself, “Does it hurt me? Does it take care of me? Does it take me where I need to go? Does it protest when I ask something of it?” Practice moisturising your body on this part at home, without criticizing. At first in might be hard to look, but use this time to nurture your body.