Today's guest blog article is written by Linda Ciotola, M.Ed., TEP, who is the author of "Healing Eating Disorders with Psychodrama and Other Action Methods: Beyond the Silence and the Fury" with Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP. They are co-presenting an online training on eating disorders on Oct. 7, 2022.
By Linda Ciotola, M.Ed., TEP
To begin with, action methods such as psychodrama provide valuable tools to assess, build and strengthen the therapeutic alliance necessary for effective treatment of eating disorders. As the clinician finds engaging ways to create a supportive therapeutic relationship and safe environment, enactment then puts these struggles into action by externalizing them for treatment. Now these struggles are no longer hidden, and they have been given voice to the suffering person's inner conflicts and feelings.
By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
Traditional talk therapy helps the suffering person understand what contributes to his or her eating disorder or dissatisfaction with body image. However, conventional talk therapy usually leaves the person with the knowledge of “why” the eating disorder is present but without changing the behavior.
Psychodrama, the action method developed by Dr. J.L. Moreno and his wife Zerka T. Moreno, teaches the importance of human problems in the context of the roles that are played out in life. With the opportunity to change these roles to more healthy behaviors, we have found that tremendous healing is available with psychodrama.
With the perspective of roles, rather than pathological behaviors, we identify sufferers as the one who binges, the one who restricts food, the one who purges, the one who isolates, the one who is anxious, the one who diets, the one who fears being fat, and so on.
Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is an author, trainer and psychotherapist who promotes, practices and teaches experiential methods including psychodrama, Family and Systemic Constellations, sand tray, mindfulness and Tarot imagery.
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