GPA Member Dr. Dina Zeckhausen Publishes EveryBODY Color!
Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Posted by: Amy Dietrich
As therapists, it's gratifying to witness how some of the coping tools we recommend to clients (e.g. yoga, meditation and Adult Coloring books) are being embraced by the general public to help with anxiety. In particular, the popularity of Adult Coloring Books has exploded, with hundreds of new titles available on Amazon.
Science supports the therapeutic benefits of coloring. Curry & Kasser (Journal of the American Art Therapy Assoc, 2005) asked 84 stressed undergraduates to color a mandala or a plaid form, or to simply color free-hand on a blank piece of paper. Students coloring in pre-designed shapes saw a significant decrease in their anxiety compared to those who were asked to doodle. Coloring induces a meditative state, increases focus & mindfulness and provides a safe and contained form of creative expression.
In Dr. Zeckhausen's work with eating disorder sufferers, she searched for a coloring book addressing body issues. Unable to find one, she connected with an artist friend so that they could design one themselves. EveryBODY Color! is appropriate for young teens through adults. Detailed and evocative images connect with the themes of quotes from my children's book "Full Mouse, Empty Mouse" (Magination press, 2007) and my musical "What's Eating Katie?" These include listening to the body, re-connecting to the self, permission to express feelings and openness to change.