Though appearing to be a relatively new science, the practice of psychotherapy has actually occurred in different forms under different titles for centuries upon centuries. Whether a short-term issue or a chronic illness that interferes with one’s emotional or physical well-being, medics, philosophers, and spiritual practitioners have used methods steeped in the basic concepts of psychotherapy to help others through depression, anger, and anxiety for ages.
Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy, but it uses art media as its primary mode of communication. I like to compare the therapeutic process of creating art to meditation. Meditation is like taking a break; its purpose is to focus on directly creating mental space so as to allow one to gain perspective and communicate this new perspective. Creating art works similarly, but through a different process; the art-creation process itself indirectly creates mental space unconsciously by focusing on a creative task, and the product of the creative task (the art) communicates the art-creator’s new perspective. Thus, like traditional psychotherapy, art therapy provides methods to develop self-awareness, coping skills, processing of stressful or traumatic experiences, and enhancement of one’s cognitive abilities. In addition, you can enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.
As an art therapist, I offer a unique opportunity to process your experiences. With psychological blocks, people tend to worry where or how a new perspective will emerge and where it might lead them. Anxiety paralyzes and makes verbal communication difficult. This is the inherent disadvantage of traditional methods of psychotherapy. Through a combination of making art and talking, however, new perspectives can sometimes emerge with greater ease. I can help you to gently push outward on the boundaries of your comfort zone, and slowly and safely practice a new and more expansive way of being. I can help you change. Using art therapy is entirely optional, but it is a beneficial tool in accessing and communicating what might not be available by words alone.
The journey toward change is, at times, very hard; embarking on that journey, however, is one that can be full of joy as you learn about yourself, develop connections, and break free to experience your life more fully and authentically. Everyone has a unique journey. It is my privilege to witness and support yours.