I am delighted to be a part of and share my experience about this year’s competition International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP) 5th Annual Imagine Me Beyond What You See Body Image Mannequin Art Competition and Eating Disorders Awareness Campaign. This, I believe, is my fourth year participating in the event as one of three invited judges – although judging is hardly a fair description. I feel I am an honored witness to the many powerful images that reflect the journeys away from an eating disorder and toward greater health.
Each year thousands of men and women are fortunate to receive the specialized treatment that is needed to help them recover from their eating disorder. These specialized treatment facilities and agencies understand the importance of the arts in recovery and employ credentialed art therapists. Art therapy is a creative, psychotherapeutic process that helps patients express themselves when they have lost their words. It helps to provide the ability to accurately, and more fully, link feelings with expression. The art therapy process gives individuals who have become stuck, whittled down, or overwhelmed an outlet that fosters growth and change. It is a mirror for past events, current situations, and future dreams and aspirations. And just as the form and structure of the art medium can be stretched and boundaries redrawn, so too with the aide of a qualified art therapist can the psychic structure be supported and compassionately pulled into a flexible and more comfortable place.
These sculptural works are representative of hundreds of brave souls, courageously embarking on their journey of recovery with the aid and support of their treatment teams, families, and friends. They are warriors and journeyers; they, as do we all, do battle with personal and cultural demons along this path we all call life and these are some of the images that reflect their process. I thank them and IAEDP for allowing me to share their work with you.
The following treatment facilities and individuals submitted work for the 2015 Art Competition:
Doctor’s Health and Wellness Center
Imagine Me Beyond What You See Awards Ceremony will be held Thursday, March 19 during iaedp’s Opening Night Dinner. The evening opens iaedp’s signature International Flag Procession spotlighting the International and United States Chapter Delegations followed by Imagine Me Awards Presentation including the Professionals Choice Award, voted on by iaedp membership, Symposium attendees, and the general public.
View the entire 2015 Roster by visiting online http://iaedp.com/ImagineMe.htm and while you’re there cast your vote.
2015 Judges includes Michelle Dean, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, CGP, Board Certified Art Therapist and Professional Member of American Art Therapy Association, Fritz Liedtke, Photographic Fine Artist and Author, along with Leigh Cohn, MAT, CEDS, Author, Artist and Owner Gurze Books.
© 2015, All rights reserved, The Center for Psyche & the Arts, LLC; written by Michelle L. Dean, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, CGP. For more information about eating disorder treatment and to schedule an appointment for yourself or a loved one, family support, or be included in one of our groups in the Philadelphia area, please contact, Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610.259.2550 ext. 2.