I get excited when my Vera Bradley catalog comes. I don’t love the preppy aesthetic and have no need for a monogrammed tennis racquet cover. But still I do love my Vera Bradley catalog. The patterns. The palette. The combination of complementary patterns and great color mixes inspires me. This week it led me to an art therapy directive using “pattern” as both a literal art project and a therapeutic metaphor. One of my favorite ones is here for you to see….
Breathing Pattern sharpie on paper
On an artistic level this is a pleasing pattern, color palette and design; somehow both sophisticated and relaxed. What I notice most about the artistic and therapeutic level is the orientation; the extreme placement at the top of the paper like a border. It is even contained once more by a bold, black border. This piece of paper makes an easy metaphor. Our vocabulary reflects this. The composition is in the “header.” In fact the piece of paper may be viewed as head, body, foot. F’s drawing illustrates the way many women with disordered eating have slowly (or sometimes abruptly in the case of trauma) moved out of their bodies all together. They are living cognitively; in their heads. Often very savvy, very smart heads. But there is a mind/body disconnect. A not- all –there feeling. Like missing out on life. There is also a need for grounding; for feet firmly on the ground. This dirt, this planet. 98.6 degrees.
Some options for therapeutic interventions.
The basic, classic way to access the body is through breath. This may be a combination of yoga, meditation and movement therapy
To get “grounded” It helps to eat root vegetables: beets, potatoes, turnips… and meats.
Digging in the dirt is grounding; gardening. Working with clay; pottery.
Rock music- strong bass line, drumming.
Horseback riding requires the rider to be in the body.
Jas Milam, MAAT