My family was introduced to Art Therapy while we were at Remuda Ranch. Looking back now, for me this was the most insightful part of our entire week. Watching my family, the other girls and their families express their inner feelings and self through art, forever changed my heart and life. I will never forget the “masks” the girls had made which signified their eating disorder, how they felt inside and what it did to them. I still tear up when I think about it. This therapy revealed to me the monster my daughter had lived with and what it not only did in her life, but every other girl at the ranch.
Last week, I went online to find a video to share about art therapies. The following is what I found. It is a short trailer for a documentary in which the film maker is fundraising to cover the cost of completing. You will see in the short clip, examples of the type of masks I am talking about.
Following the video, I am including the words from the person who is producing this documentary.
From the producer:
Do you want to support this project? Visit: http://www.indiegogo.com/EDdoc
I knew almost nothing about eating disorders until I was personally affected by a sufferer of this condition. When I was in college, I discovered that someone I loved had a severe eating disorder (ED). After a great deal of thought, I began a journey to film ED programs in Texas, California, Colorado, New York and Florida in order to better understand the struggles someone with ED experiences and how recovery could be possible. As a filmmaker, I identified with the creative process of expressing one’s thoughts and feelings as a means of personal healing, and I became intrigued when I discovered that expressive arts therapies existed. Over time, as I filmed the stories of women with ED, what began to emerge was the theme of creative expression being a powerful force in fostering recovery. This is a documentary film about hope and healing through these therapies.
There are three primary reasons why this film is so sorely needed:
1. An important fact for people to know is that eating disorders are about much more than food, weight, and one’s body, and it would be helpful for people to understand this. Using documentary film as a tool to educate on a large scale about this terrible health risk, this film can be a great advocacy program for the general public as well as community programs and educational institutions. Gaining accurate knowledge can actually give viewers hope and save lives.
2. Expressive Arts Therapies can provide communicative tools that allow the trap of an eating disorder to be transformed. These specialized therapies creatively motivate individuals with ED to reconnect with their inner self and to express what they feel even when it seems impossible. I think it’s about time someone made a film that generates a larger conversation about the place that Expressive Arts Therapists have in helping women with eating disorders recover, don’t you?
3. I believe that the world is in desperate need of a film that tells a story of inspiration. I’ve been horrified by the type of stories that I’ve seen in the news or on MTV that tells hopeless stories of individuals with eating disorders. As a filmmaker, I want to help to modify negative outcomes by inspiring hope through stories of recovery rather than failure. I think that the narrative we need to produce is that if you are strong enough to seek therapy, you are strong enough to survive… and even thrive! And that’s what this film is all about. I want viewers to walk out of the theater thinking, “If they can make it, I can make it too!”
This ends my posts for National Eating Disorder Week, and the theme “Everybody Knows Somebody!” While the week has ended, the battle has just began. There is much work to do! I am passionate about educating the public and helping empower those people who are still in the strangulation hold of this illness.