If you have tried other types of therapy or maybe you are interested in trying a different and creative approach, Art Therapy might be the answer. by Lauren Fallat, MA LPC ATR-BC
Art Therapy: “Is this what I’ve been needing all along?”
As someone who may just have encountered the idea of art therapy, you might have a variety of thoughts and feelings that stem from the idea of engaging the use of art materials in therapy. For some, the idea might bring about a sense of excitement, curiosity, intrigue, hope and satisfaction in knowing that there are non-verbal ways of expressing oneself without necessarily relying on words to externalize those thoughts and feelings. Images and metaphors can provide a foundation for new awareness. There is a belief that creativity enhances our ability to understand ourselves and the world around us- to engage with our authentic selves in a safe and accepting space in which we can develop our own narrative and meaning-making along the way. There is an empowerment that lives in making choices as to what materials are used and how they are used, what you decide to include or exclude in your images and forms and how you make meaning from what has developed.
For others, the idea of picking up a pencil or paintbrush might elicit thoughts of “I can’t do that”, “I’m not an artist”, “This is not for me” or “I’m embarrassed of my skill or lack of skill with art materials.” Each of these thoughts stem from feelings of shame that in turn become our core beliefs about who we are or are not and what we are or are not capable of. I am here to express to you that art is for everyone- seriously. If you can identify with any of these thoughts or feelings listed above, then I encourage you to reflect on how art making in a safe, non-judgmental environment with a professional art therapist may be the reparative experience you have been needing all along to address core obstacles in your life.
To try something new and unfamiliar can be absolutely scary, exciting, terrifying, anxiety-provoking, relieving, hopeful and/or shame-inducing- and yet it is in a therapeutic environment in which we can gently explore and dismantle these barriers to our own personal growth by trusting the process. Within an art therapy session, you can decide how much time is spent making art, how much time is spent talking and how much time is spent reflecting on what has been created. The beauty in the process is that it can be both structured and spontaneous to fit your needs. At times in a traditional talk therapy session, it can be difficult to focus on the present moment, how our body is experiencing emotions and art has the ability to create an experience that can be witnessed and supported directly while in session.
If you are interested in learning more about what you might expect in an art therapy session with one of our art therapists, please go to our website using the following link to learn more: https://holistichealthcounselingcenter.com/arttherapy/