Art Therapy Video – Also Red & Blue bracelets! | Kati Morton


Hi there! Thanks for checking back. Now, before I start my topic today, I want to tell you a funny story. So you’re probably thinking “What the heck?” But I’ll explain after I tell the story. So my first job as a “counselor” when I was in undergraduate school was at this camp for boys. And what they mean when they say “camp for boys” means they’ve gotten in trouble with the law, but they’re under 18 so they can’t go to jail, so they send them to these sort of rehabilitation camps. Part of my job was to counsel them as well as help them with any schoolwork issue they had, because a lot of them had trouble reading and writing, just basic school things. And a funny thing happened at lunch that I had to ask my supervisor about, because I wondered what in the heck was happening. So some boys would only drink 2% milk A whole table of them only drank 2% milk. Okay. And then a whole other side of the cafeteria, and these were very separated, another side of the cafeteria only drank whole milk. And I thought “that’s really weird, how can they all possibly like the same type of milk? “That’s just really bizarre.” My supervisor said, “Well, different gangs have different colors affiliated with them.” “One gang is blue, that’s 2%. 2% milk is blue, because it’s written in blue ink.” “Whole milk is red; that gang’s affiliated with a red color, so they only drink whole milk.” I thought that was kind of ridiculous. I want to drink whatever the hell kind of milk I want to drink, and I’m not going to do it just because it’s one kind of color, right? So I guess the whole point of this story is the bracelets, blue and red. I’ve heard a lot of things, a lot of chatter between you guys, because one’s associated with anorexia, one’s associated with bulimia, They don’t own the colors! Why can’t I wear red and blue if I want to wear red and blue? I think that’s kind of ridiculous, but I appreciate the information, obviously. And I actually haven’t had a patient that’s told me about these bracelet colors before, and it made me think back to if anyone was ever wearing those, but to be honest, when you buy a bracelet on my site, it means what I say it means. These were created with love by my best friend to help us out. Blue is reflection, red is strength. There are no other meanings. I know that many of you think, “well, nobody knows.” Only the eating disorder world apparently knows, and I didn’t even know, because it’s never been a topic of conversation with a client or anything. So I encourage you, break out of the norm. You don’t have to drink the 2% milk or the whole milk, and you don’t have to only wear red and blue, and it means anorexia or bulimia, It means what it means to you. It’s just like anything. I wear a certain necklace because this reminds me of this and I got it from this person, or I got it at this time, and it’s more than what everybody else says it means. It’s what it means to me. Blue means reflection, red means strength, and I think all of us need a little bit of both in our lives. So that’s just my story, and I understand where you guys are coming from, but I encourage you to break out of the mold. We’ll be rebels. So now, on today’s topic. The topic comes from a follower on YouTube, and she had questions about art therapy. Now, I personally had art therapy. When I was younger my therapist had me do a lot of different art techniques and I’m sure many of you have had either when you’ve been inpatient, they do some different groups that are purely art, or maybe your therapist will have you do an art project as part of your, I don’t know, your treatment plan she has for you, and it can really help us – not only is it therapeutic to do art itself, Coloring, like I said before I really like to color, doing collage where you cut out different things and paste, I think sometimes on Tumblr is almost like art, when you’re putting together a post and things like that, If it’s positive or it’s expressing a negative emotion you have trouble talking about, It can be a way of expression. And so a lot of therapists use art therapy as a way to help you express emotions that you don’t like to express. Does that make sense? So, because as eating disorder patients we tend to stuff our emotions And feel like we don’t “deserve” them, and we have no right, and I don’t know where they came from, and they’re not “real,” I don’t really “have” to feel any.. You get where I’m going with this. We all have those, like, “Well, I don’t have a right to be angry, because she IS right, and..” No! You have a right to feel how you feel. Emotions come out naturally, our bodies naturally express and we naturally feel them, we don’t force them on ourselves. And so art can be a great way to express these. And that’s why a lot of times when any of you are telling me “I’m really stressed out,” or “I’m really anxious,” I’ll say “paint, color, do collages, do any kind of art that can be really helpful.” And when you’re in art therapy, your therapist will have you bring in what you’ve been working on and kind of go over it with you. A lot of times we’ll show more in that than we even realize. Because it’s almost of like my anger video, when I said to take a red crayon and color an entire piece of construction paper, or whatever paper, red, and it can feel really good. A lot of times when your therapist will tell you to think about something, like “think about your sister, or your mother, or your brother while you do this. I want you to focus in on that experience or that person while you do this.” And it will show a lot about how you feel. And to be honest, I actually like to see how I feel sometimes. That can really help me own it. “Yes, that is true. I have been frustrated, I have felt abandoned, I have been hurt.” So that’s really all there is to art therapy. I mean, to concentrate it, there are a lot of little nuances and different therapists with different beliefs, but that’s why art therapy is used a lot with eating disorders. And they won’t share your art unless you say that they can, They’re not going to, you know, it’s not about how “good” you are as an artist, because I tell you what, I am terrible, and that was really helpful for me. I can’t draw at all. I can stay in the lines, maybe that’s why I like coloring. But anyway, they’re not judging you on how well you do it, it’s just a great, healthy way to express how you’re feeling, and it can be really cathartic. So I encourage all of you: try things, run to the store, to the local Target or whatever you have, Wal-Mart or CVS, grab a coloring book and some color crayons, and see how it feels. It can feel really good. And see if it shows you anything that you might not normally want to express, okay? Leave any comments below, let me know if you’ve been in art therapy, how it worked for you, what you noticed, maybe there’s little things that your therapist did that were really helpful. And these are things a lot of time we can do at home, so it’s a great way to jump-start our treatment and to start working towards recovery. And also don’t forget to subscribe to my channel, I put out a video every week, and you’ll get notified to that, and it’s a great way to keep working on our community, As we take one step after another towards a healthy mind and a healthy body. Subtitles by the Amara.org community

24 Comments

  1. Oh man your milk story cracked me up in the beginning. I had no idea why you were talking about milk, and I thought you went on a MAJOR tangent. lol. πŸ™‚

    I remember a special on TV talking about pro-ana and their websites and bracelets. It could be a way putting it back into the face of your ED. To purposely choose your red for ana and blue for mia, but try to train yourself to keep the more positive attribute in mind. Like, reflection or strength over ED behaviors.

  2. It's the association with those colors that I can't get out of my head. Even though I'm recovered I always think of a red bracelet being pro ana even though red has many different meanings. I really enjoy your videos keep posting.

  3. In inpatient I did art therapy and one project I really enjoyed was an "inside-outside box". We had a small box that opened up and on the outside we decorated it with what we felt represented how we portrait ourselves on the outside and on the inside of the box is how we felt or what we were like on the inside. It really helped me and was a fun project to create! you should try it! I would love if anyone has any other project ideas that they have done.

  4. When I had to stay at the children's hospital. I remember my therapist would do art therapy. My favorite activity was throwing paint balloons against the wall. She ended up with quite a colorful wall and a speckled rug.

  5. I agree – art has helped me so much therapeutically. I have trouble finding the words sometimes, but if I draw something, then I find I can begin talking about the picture. It feels less confronting sometimes than talking about what I'm feeling, but more often than not is just a good starting point to talk about those things that I thought were too hard. I find too it's a good way to deal with anxiety. It's doing something with your hands, and often feels like you're releasing things.

  6. When I was inpatient and residential recently, art was among the things that I found most helpful in my recovery. It was extremely helpful especially at the beginning of my recovery when I was so very sick – it allowed me to express and explore feelings I didn't have words for. Since returning home, I've been working with an art therapist, though, and haven't found it as helpful. In my personal experience, art therapy is a great add-on to talk therapy, but not as helpful on its own.

  7. "[…] you have the right to feel how you feel […]"
    Wow! πŸ˜€ at home I'm always being told to feel or don't feel in a certain way, and I'm obviously always feeling the "wrong" way ^^" Thanks for your videos! They make me feel less "wrong" πŸ˜€
    Hugs from Italy! πŸ˜€

  8. "I wanna drink whatever the hell kind of milk I wanna drink and Im not just gonna do it just because of some colour!"
    Bahahahahaahaha! πŸ˜€

  9. The ED bracelet thing started from pro-anorexia/bulimia sites. Red was chosen because of the 're' in anorexia and blue was chosen the for 'b' in bulimia. Pro- ED bloggers used the bracelets as a way of identifying others who might also be pro eating disorder and could share tips and whatnot. I'm not really sure how often it works given that 99.9% of the population probably just wears red/blue jewelry because they like the colors though..

  10. What about a video on expressive therapy? I have been seeing an expressive therapist for over 4 years. Our work is focused more on movement than art therapy. Both she & I have backgrounds in dance & because I'm recovering from EDs, we explore ways to improve mind/body connection. Because of my perfectionism/OCD, I can't participate in art therapy. My anxiety skyrockets & the value of the activity is lost on me. But I strongly believe in expressive therapy & I don't where I would be without it.

  11. i know orage is also self harm recovery , i have a kind of self harm coping skill (i thought of it after being in childrens hospital where they have bravery beads) and anyway for every time you beat the urge to self harm or purge or what ever you put a bead on a string n keep saving them til you have enough for a bracelet or key chain
    i told may of my friends on fb and youtube and now so many know about it
    when friend saw the orange one she liked it n now i make the orange ones for others

  12. art therapy is an amazing area of study and is just starting to be looked atΒ  for all different areas and ages from alzimersΒ  to vetrerns in war to mental disorders, I am an art therapist in training. art speaks louder that words and can expresse what we have no words for.

  13. I've never been to art therapy but I was the best artist in high school I think I was using art as a therapy I haven't made anything since art college failed out of college.people were mean and nasty there put my work down all the time.thought I would find people like me there turns out art college is full of rich brats who never had to deal with real problems.they were just good at the technical aspects.love your videos.they really help me.thanks.

  14. coloring has been the best thing for me… i started just searching for coloring pages for my son… found out there was coloring pages for adults and such…. and then… magic! haha!

  15. I had art Therapy group I really injoy that the only thing I do not like is the fact that I had to be in A place where I have to wait with a lot of people and being around a lot of people causes my anxieties used to go up because I do not like people touching me. In fact when I was a teenager and I used to have to ride the metro bus In Seattle if the bus got too crowded I will get off And I hated taking the school bus because of all the kids on it. I do not like to be around a whole lot of people I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder with Bipolar Ptsd Just at the end of the day I am just so exhausted From trying to control my disorders and my husband is diagnosed With Asperger's

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