Using Art Therapy with Binge Eating

“Art opens the closets, airs out the cellars and attics. It brings healing.”
~Julia Cameron

Does your life need a little dusting? Does it need the spark of creativity? Mine did. I was really stuck in a hard pattern of binge eating. Night after night, with no relief. Last April marked my entrance into art therapy.

By nature, I am not a very artistic person. I keep scrapbooks, but they are just to my particular liking. I was very into music as a child. Honestly, I cannot even draw a straight line WITH a ruler!

However, that is not the purpose of art therapy. The final products that are created are not the purpose of the activity. The point is the process in which you go through to create.

Art can be a mirror to what is going on in your inner world. It can help you explore your unconscious thoughts, uncomfortable and overwhelming exiled feelings. Using art can bring these these thoughts and feeling to life, in a manner than different than writing or conversing.

I bought a sketch pad and oil pastels at Dick Blick's, an art supply store. There are so many goodies there!! "It is a different experience to use oil pastels vs. markers. Oil pastels are less ridged and more messy. You can get more physically involved with them through rubbing them into the paper and mixing them with other colors, etc. Markers are much more precise and easier to control. It can be good to play around with both and notice what comes up for you with each." ~Art Therapist, Beth Hennessey

This is my sketch that shows my uncomfortable feelings of uncertainty. I have these feelings at night despite various attempts at distraction. This is how I feel before I binge eat.

This is my visual expression of how I feel mid-binge: Terror.

This is after binge eating or overeating to the point of physical discomfort. The tightness in my stomach feels like security from bad things, ie. the terror from above.

This is how I want to feel about the future.

some journaling

“Creativity healed me. I don’t know that I could think of any word that I get more inspired by than the word healing.” ~SARK

How do you express your creativity?

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10 Responses to Using Art Therapy with Binge Eating

  1. Although I have heard about art therapy for many years, I hadn’t ever really done it myself until I went to GMFR. It was enlightening…but I haven’t done it since. Writing is my go-to creative outlet.

  2. Kara says:

    Right now, I think writing is my only creative outlet. Well, that and foam stickers, glue and drawing with chalk with my boys, but I don’t know if that counts. It is interesting how your art changed through your binge.

  3. melissa says:

    Photography has become a great outlet for me. I’m focused on creating memories that will last a lifetime for others (and myself sometimes depending on the subject). Focusing on others instead of myself has always helped. The more I think about me, the worse things get.

  4. Run Eat Play says:

    Using art therapy is such a great idea, and I love that anyone can do it regardless if artistic ability. This would be great for kids too.

  5. My mom has actually worked in a behavioral health school for 17 years as an art teacher. It is amazing what a creative outlet can do to help kids/teens/adults express themselves. A lot of teens in her class have zero behavior issues while they are with her because they associate that time with such a positive outlet. Sometimes people just need something other than words to express how they are feeling.

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