EXHIBIT | University of Chicago’s Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery and Gordon Center for Integrative Science (Chicago)

Visualization Photomontage for Kathy C, a bulimic, by prescriptive artist Nancy GershmanFeb. 21 – Apr 30, 2014

“For The Brides of Ed: An Integrated Approach To Eating Disorders” exhibit on view at the University of Chicago’s Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery and Gordon Center for Integrative Science,  900 E. 57th Street, Chicago, IL

For The Brides of Ed*: An Integrated Approach To Eating Disorders

Art Therapy | EMDR | Prescriptive Art

eating disorder

Presented by prescriptive artist Nancy Gershman in collaboration with psychotherapist Lauren Lazar Stern, this University of Chicago exhibit introduces a pioneering approach that employs the integration of art therapy, brain-body processing and memory reconsolidation to treat and prevent relapse in eating disorder patients. Stern and Gershman refer to their collaboration as The Healing Memory Project.

The women who work with Pittsburgh-based art psychotherapist Lauren Lazar Stern, MA, ATR-BC, LPC and NYC-based prescriptive artist Nancy Gershman all suffer from a range of eating disorders which numb them from feeling hurt, conflicted or anything at all. There are the over-eaters; the binge or binge-purgers; the restricters; extreme dieters and over-exercisers. Only one thing takes precedence over boyfriends, husbands, jobs, friends, hobbies and studies and that is their primary relationship with “Ed” (their eating disorder).

In the exhibit “Brides of Ed*: An Integrated Approach,” Stern and Gershman state their mission: helping patients divorce the eating disorder part of themselves and reclaim what they loved before “Ed.” Stern’s techniques come first, with psychotherapy, expressive arts exercises and brain-body processing with EMDR. Prescriptive photomontage follows next, with Healing Dreamscapes co-created with Stern’s clients- visualizations that reframe the past or envision a future with happier outcomes. “The sensory imagery, symbols, metaphors and narrative elements,” says Gershman, “trigger the brain to retrieve a memory, re-encode it and thus, transform it.” These tangible objects of hope act as surrogate reinforcers, arresting triggers and preventing relapse in Stern’s absence – a reminder that there is life after “Ed.”

Ms. Gershman will lead a guided tour on Monday Apr. 21 from 11am-2pm, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (CSGS) as a part of its Spring 2014 theme, “Food and the Body.” This event is open to all but an RSVP to stuohey@uchicago.edu is required by April 18, 2014. University of Chicago is Brides of Ed’s 3rd venue after successful runs at NYU Langone Medical Center and University of Rochester Medical Center.

Nancy Gershman is the New York-based developer of dreamscaping, a playful way of working with people contending with the loss of one’s self, a person, a pet, a place, or a thing they can no longer return to. (www.artforyoursake.com.) Presenting her work internationally to art therapists, social workers, psychologists, pastoral care counselors, bereavement counselors and others interested in innovative approaches for working with people at the end of life and in the aftermath of significant loss, she also works in a supervisory role, training therapists in the use of Dreamscaping for grief and loss.  Most recently, she is the co-author of “Prescriptive Memories in Grief and Loss: The Art of Dreamscaping” (Routledge, 2019).  She has authored chapters in Robert A. Neimeyer’s Techniques of Grief Therapy (Routledge, 2012, 2016), and the Annals of American Psychotherapy (2010) with Jenna Baddeley, PhD.  For her work as a memory artist at Visiting Nurse Service of NY/Haven Hospice, she was featured as NY1’s “New Yorker of the Week” (2016).  Dreamscaping with the eating-disordered clients of art psychotherapist Lauren Lazar Stern led to a traveling exhibition (2013-4) at New York University, University of Rochester and the University of Chicago.  Since 2013, she hosts Death Café NYC.

Lauren Lazar Stern, MA-ATR-BC, LPC  is a Pittsburgh-based art psychotherapist and EMDR therapist working with girls and women suffering from eating disorders and body image disturbance. She is author of The Slender Trap: A Food and Body Workbook.  www.laurenlazarstern.com


Exhibit runs from Feb. 21 through April 30, 2014 (Free and by appointment only)

Location: Bridge link between Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery and Gordon Center for Integrative Science, 900 E. 57th Street, Chicago, IL

To plan a guided tour or for more details, contact Nancy Gershman 773-255-4677 (EST); nancy@artforyoursake.com

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