Art therapy is a unique creative process where working with the arts and psychotherapy combine to aid individual growth, awareness and healing. In art therapy no art skills are required – you are free to make images as a way to express feelings and emotions. The aim is to ease distress, increase awareness, resolve conflicts, and/or cope with trauma. Art therapy can help you to manage and resolve emotional problems, relationship difficulties, self-esteem, bereavement, depression, anxiety, feeling stuck, health problems and general life struggles.
Working with the arts by its very nature is healing. By engaging in the non-verbal process you can discover new insights and self-understanding, supported by the art therapist who guides you through the process. It is a supportive experience and the content of the sessions, as well as the artwork, is kept safe and confidential.
How Creative Therapy can help..
1: Turn down the volume on negative thoughts.
Do negative thoughts crowd your thinking? Do these thoughts interrupt your sleep, make you want to hide under the covers, keep you locked behind your bedroom door, shut down and tie you in knots? Maybe they make you push people away leaving you feeling alone and lonely. Creative therapy can help you unlock those thoughts and lessen their impact allowing you to take back control. By working creatively with a creative therapist you will gain greater awareness you will be able to have better and ownership of your thoughts. Creative expression and freedom will in turn enable you to find more authenticity in relationship.
2: Boost confidence.
Creative Therapy allows you time and space to open yourself up to possibility. Often we can become closed down by “have to’s” and “should’s”. Often these come from childhood and how we were brought up, not just parents but from teachers, peer groups and life events. Receiving these messages, even on a subconscious level, causes us to develop coping mechanisms which may have been necessary for survival but that are now getting in the way, are outdated, and no longer serving us, doing more harm to our self then good. Often we can feel like we are wearing a mask, false, like an intruder. Trying to please everyone we’ve somehow got lost and left behind along the way. Creative therapy can help us catch up to ourselves and to provide room to find our voice.
3: It can provide a platform for the rehearsal of the possible.
Does sometimes even just saying “ouch” when you are hurt seem too much? Does social anxiety make social interaction and conversation seem like a battlefield? Are you letting opportunities slide and is fear holding you back as people walk all over you? Is there something you’re desperate to say to someone that is keeping you from moving on with your life? By using a technique called 2 chair work, or through other creative methods, a creative arts therapist can provide a safe space to explore these feelings confidentially without judgement. Often exploring this way can be the key to finding out what you really want and can also help identify triggers bringing about greater awareness around how our past may be influencing our present.
4: Create some headroom.
Thinking can be exhausting. Trying to work out what others might be thinking, trying to second guess what is expected of us on the scant social clues we are given, trying to think what to say in social situations, thinking about how we’re coming across, worried about saying/doing the wrong thing, saying too much, too little...arh!!! And breathe. No wonder you get tongue tied or just stay away. Creative therapy works by putting thoughts, feelings or ideas outside yourself. In this way it can be looked at and new insights can be gained. Creating something, drawing or using an image, puppet, toy figure or movement provides an outlet less reliant on the filtering process our thoughts go through before they are turned into words. Creative therapy is not so much about finding the right words, although they may come, it is about exploring and creating awareness of the unexpressed and enabling expression.
5: Time for you.
It can often be hard to talk to those that we interact with in everyday life. We don’t want to hurt any ones feelings or change how they might feel about us. We might be ashamed of our thoughts, think that there’s no place for them, we should just be happy (there’s that “should” again!) It might not even be about fear of judgement, we just don’t want something known, and yet it won’t go away. Creative therapy can offer you time and space just to explore. A creative therapist won’t give you advice but will support you and guide you through an exploration of different prospective. A creative therapist will work alongside you to help you find your own way. Therapy offers a time to offload to a professional trained to carry it without it being a burden. Someone with no agenda other than your wellbeing whatever that means for you. A time, in short, all about you.