art making, journaling, sharing, group art therapy weekend.
WHAT IS ART THERAPY?
Art Therapy provides a voice where one may or may not exist. Throughout history, drawing, painting, sculpture and other forms of art served as powerful and effective means of communication for all cultures. Art has been used for the communication of ideas, feelings, dreams, aspirations, spiritual symbolism, and the expression of a wide range of emotions without having to use words. Throughout history, Art has been used both consciously and unconsciously as a vehicle for healing.
Making art is basic to human nature. Art Therapy is a relatively new field that has been shaped by many disciplines: art, art history, art education, anthropology, sociology, psychology, psychiatry and the medical sciences. Initially, Art Therapy was used with physically ill people in hospital settings and within the field of psychiatry within psychiatric hospitals. Art Therapy has now expanded to every possible sector of society, utilized with people of any age, sex, culture and level of ability or "disability". Art Therapy may be used in the form of Art Psychotherapy for everything from an assessment, diagnosis and interpretive tools for the treatment of serious mental/emotional illnesses, physical and/or psychological in nature.....and it can also be used in the form I provide, which is, Strength-Based/Humanistic/Developmental/Integral Art as a Therapy approach for healing...Art Therapy can be used with individuals, couples, families and groups. Art Therapy is utilized in Medical and Mental Health settings, within schools and educational centers, community art studios, with specific community groups, with those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence/child abuse and neglect, in counseling centers, with the elderly, with Dementia and Alzheimer, people without any apparent illness for the purposes of self expression, growth and personal transformation. Art Therapy has been utilized on-site, in real time and there after, with those suffering from the effects of all sorts of natural and man made disasters such as the Tsunami, 9/11, earthquakes, floods and war. Currently, Art Therapy is effective and being widely utilized, to help people to recover from Trauma, Developmental or Event based, long and short term. The applications and adaptations of Art Therapy are infinite. There are no barriers or limitations to receive the benefits of art therapy.
An additional benefit of employing Art Therapy practices in healing, are the Brain Benefits. Art Therapy practices such as Bilateral Drawing, utilizes both sides of the brain simultaneously, stimulating brain cells as it calms and soothes the Brain Stem and the Nervous System.
Within my Trauma Informed Art Therapy and Counseling practice, HEALING through the Creative art Therapies, specifically through Art, Writing, Reflecting, are instrumental in reconnecting, recreating and recovering from TRAUMA and the multifaceted symptoms of Trauma. One of the most effective tools I incorporate in my practice is Bilateral Drawing. Clients are able to use this exercise in the studio, at home or where ever they are, to ground and sooth themselves, by this method of self- massage through drawing.
The American Art Therapy association defines Art Therapy as "The therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma or challenges of living, and by people who seek personal development. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others, cope with symptoms, stress and traumatic experiences, enhance cognitive abilities and enjoy the life-affirming pleasure of making art."
The power and essence of Art Therapy comes from its non-verbal aspect of art making to communicate thoughts, feelings, ideas and images. It is the non-verbal aspect of Art Therapy which transcend barriers of communication. These "barriers" of communication may be physical, social/emotional, psychological, cognitive or cultural.....Art Therapy provides the "voice".
WHAT DOES ART THERAPY LOOK LIKE?