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Art Therapy, Personal Freedom and the Inner self

by Lauren Fallat, LPC LPAT ATR-BC

In our quest for personal freedom, we often overlook the power of creative expression as a way to reflect on our inner selves. The concept of personal freedom can seem elusive amidst our responsibilities and societal expectations. However, art therapy offers a powerful avenue to reconnect with this essential part of our being. Through the act of creating, we can unlock a deeper understanding of ourselves and embrace a sense of personal freedom that is both liberating and empowering.

Personal Freedom and Art Therapy

Personal freedom, at its core, is the ability to express oneself authentically and live in accordance with one’s values and desires. It involves breaking free from external constraints and internal fears that hinder our true potential. Artmaking is a unique way to tap into this freedom because it encourages self-expression without judgment. When we create art, we can let go of the need for perfection and allow our true selves to emerge.

In Art Therapy and the art room, we are afforded numerous freedoms that are often not present in other areas of our lives. The freedom to experiment, to make mistakes, and to explore new ideas without fear of criticism or failure is profoundly liberating. In art therapy, this environment is even more pronounced. The therapeutic setting provides a safe space where individuals can express their emotions, thoughts, and experiences through creative means. This process can be incredibly healing, as it allows for the exploration of personal narratives and the release of pent-up feelings.

One of the most significant freedoms in the art room is the freedom from societal norms and expectations. In our everyday lives, we are often bombarded with messages about how we should think, behave, and even feel. Artmaking offers a sanctuary from these pressures. It is a space where we can explore unconventional ideas, challenge norms, and discover new aspects of our identity. This freedom can be transformative, leading to increased self-awareness and self-acceptance.

Furthermore, artmaking in art therapy allows us to connect with our inner child, the part of us that is naturally curious, imaginative, and unrestrained. This reconnection can reignite a sense of playfulness and wonder that is often lost in adulthood. By embracing our inner child, we can rediscover the joy of creation and the boundless possibilities it brings. This process can be deeply therapeutic, helping us to heal past wounds and embrace a more authentic and joyful way of being.

Exploring personal freedom through creative self-expression is an ongoing journey. It requires courage, as it involves confronting and embracing our vulnerabilities. However, the rewards are immense. Through artmaking, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. We can also develop a sense of agency, knowing that we have the power to create and shape our own experiences.

To delve deeper into this exploration, consider setting aside regular time for creative activities. Whether it’s painting, drawing, sculpting, or any other form of art, allow yourself to engage fully in the process. Let go of any preconceived notions of what your art should look like and focus instead on how it makes you feel. Reflect on the themes and emotions that arise during your creative sessions, and consider discussing these insights with a therapist or trusted friend.

In conclusion, the courage to create is a powerful force that can lead to personal freedom and fulfillment. Through artmaking, we can break free from the constraints that limit our self-expression and discover new dimensions of our identity. Embrace the freedom offered in the art room and allow yourself to explore your creative potential. In doing so, you may find a profound sense of liberation and a deeper connection to your true self.

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