The Use Of Art In Treating Eating Disorders


Eating disorders manifest physically, but they are mainly mental health issues addressed through a psychological approach. When a person is suffering from an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge-eating disorder, it takes over the emotions, and a person tends to focus on food. It usually comes from a person’s difficulties, relationship challenges, social and physical concerns that give too much stress.

Since eating disorders are not just a physical problem, a series of treatments are required to ascertain the wellness of a patient suffering from this kind of condition. It needs not just treating the body but the psychological aspect as well. According to Kristen Fuller, M.D., “Navigating life after treatment for your eating disorder can be challenging, especially leaving a rigid treatment schedule and venturing out into the world of recovery.”

Courses Needed To Improve Wellbeing:


Medical Intervention

Medical therapy is the use of medications to treat diseases and infections that may have occurred because of the eating disorder. It is crucial that any condition that is consequential to the eating disorder must be cleared first before moving on to the improvement of weight issues, and the medicines should be prescribed by a licensed doctor to ensure safety.

Nutritional Therapy

Nutritional therapy is used to correct nutrition deficit in the body. There must be several nutrients that the body is lacking, and the doctor may refer the patient to a nutritionist to manage the food intake. Meals are well prepared based on the vitamins and minerals that the body needs.

Counseling and Therapy

Counseling and therapy are done by licensed professional counselors who may recommend different types of approaches to address the weight problem. One of the most common methods that are used to treat eating disorders is art therapy.

Art therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach that aims to aid in the treatment of eating disorders.  According to Nicole Pipitone, MAAT, LPC, “Art therapy establishes communication between people and allows a person to find a sense of clarity or understanding that may be difficult to do by using words alone.” It helps the counselor understand the patient’s feelings and emotions. It is a vital process in the course of action to understand what the patient’s stressors are. This way, the counselor will be able to identify which approach is the most effective.

Types Of Art Therapy



Drawing is a kind of art that uses ink, colored pencils, crayons, markers, and other writing materials to form a picture onto a paper or any perceptible space where the drawing can be visible.


Painting is a more complicated way to express creativity. It uses paint and brush to form images on any solid surface.


Scrapbooking is making use of old stuff filled with a lot of memories, usually photos, movie tickets, letters, etc. It usually has comprehensive journaling and designing, making use of a person’s creativity.


Sculpting is an art that uses clay or other materials to form, shape, or mold an image or an object that represents a person’s ideas and thoughts.

Our brain works in a complicated way that sometimes makes it hard to express our feelings by just speaking. It is a therapeutic approach to aid in healing medical conditions by serving as a medium of communication between the body, mind and external factors.

Art therapy is a practical approach that is used not just to treat eating disorders but all other mental health issues as well. It is a craft that makes one master of oneself, giving the power to understand and eventually control all aspects of one’s wellbeing. All of these relaxation strategies help individuals with eating disorders cultivate self-compassion and promote a healthy lifestyle”, Greta Gleissner LCSW quoted.