by Polly Guetta
Some people are reluctant to try art therapy because they feel that they are not “artsy” or “creative” enough. Some of us may have bad memories of high school art teachers telling us we aren’t talented or that we are doing it all wrong (this was my experience) . It can be difficult to get past these negative associations with the art-making process and jump into it again. But giving yourself the freedom to express yourself visually and to tap into your creative self can really help you to get your thoughts and emotions flowing in positive directions.
We’ve been offering art therapy at the Counselling and Wellness Centre at MDABC for the past year of so, and we have heard some great feedback from the people who have participated. In doing a little bit of research about the benefits of art therapy, I came across a top ten list which I thought summed up the research very nicely:
- Art Therapy can provide a forum to express strengths and genuineness.
- Through viewing one’s own creation – one can improve the skill of self-observation.
- What cannot be said with words – may be more easily expressed through the art.
- Metaphors and stories emerge through the art – which can provide a ‘voice’ for material which may be difficult to express.
- Art Therapy is active & physical, fun, and stimulating.
- Emotions and art are closely connected; making art can aid in uplifting one’s mood.
- Making art activates the whole brain and can foster integration of emotional, cognitive, and sensory processes.
- Emerging and recurrent symbols expressed in the art can help to make unconscious material conscious.
- Art can make the hidden – visible in an external & tangible way.
- Art making provides an experience which is stress & anxiety reducing, relaxing, and decreases worry.
So, are you thinking about giving art therapy a try? Join us at the Counselling and Wellness Centre at MDABC on June 30th for a 3-hour workshop on Values-Based-Living Art therapy. Click on the poster below to go to the registration page.