A creative therapy encouraging an understanding, an exploration and an expression of the self.
What is Art Therapy?
Many clients find it difficult to express themselves through language and very often can only articulate a fraction of what they are experiencing inside themselves. Others are masters of the word and use it as a diversion technique, a defence mechanism which keeps them away from experiencing the feelings through the body. Art externalises experiences, hopes and conflicts.
Art therapy is a wonderful modality designed as a non-verbal tool to facilitate the expression of the self, providing insight, growth and transformation of the client’s world. Water colours, pastels and acrylic paint is used to facilitate expression of feelings for the client. Working with the clay and the selecting and placing of symbols in the sandtray, assisting in connecting a client’s inner world with their outer realities and life experiences.
How Can Art Therapy Help Me?
Art therapy can assist clients to authentically express themselves, release powerful emotions and transcend trauma and can enhance their well-being.
It is a non-threatening form of communication that assists in tapping into the creative spark which exists within every individual, helping to reconnect one to their ‘feeling’ body.
If a client finds it too difficult to talk about their painful experiences, they can express it in a non- directive way through Art Therapy.
Art Therapy overall is suitable for everyone, and is practiced with a wide range of populations including children, adolescents, adults, the elderly, family systems and in couple therapy.
What Issues Can Art Therapy Assist With?
Just as people have different personality traits so too does art therapy. The different art mediums have different qualities and textures about them. I am very selective about which medium to use for each presented issue as these qualities and textures have a distinct impact on the psyche and emotions of the client I am working with.
HEALING GRIEF THROUGH WATER COLOUR THERAPY
“Grief is an unavoidable, spontaneous response to loss, it is universal, felt by everyone yet experienced uniquely” (Karaban).
OUR REACTIONS TO GRIEF: [Watercolour]
Our reactions to grief can be felt in response to physical losses such as the death of a close family member or friend or social or symbolic losses such as divorce or loss of a job. This internal reaction to a loss is an attempt by us to re-establish meaning and equilibrium in our lives. Grief does impact every part of our being, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. It is therefore important to work through the grief by experiencing the impact, feeling and acknowledging the loss and allowing ourselves to work through the natural grieving process so we can adjust to the change. It does take courage to grieve fully and deeply, to feel the pain and face the unfamiliar.
INTERRUPTED GRIEVING PROCESS:
If this natural process is interrupted or resisted the grief can become stuck or frozen and result in complicated or unresolved grief, delayed or masked grief. All of which manifest later in depressive or anxiety based disorders, anger or guilt, along with many other symptoms, emotional and physical in nature.
Elizabeth Kubler – Ross & David Kessler eloquently state, ‘Grief is real because loss is real. Each grief has its own imprint, as distinctive and as unique as the person we lost’. If grief is fully experienced and faced head on, it can be seen as a gift and healer, as we learn much about ourselves and the process.
HOW I WORK USING WATERCOLOUR AND BREATH WORK: [Watercolour]
When grief and or loss are experienced in one’s life, there is an innate response by the body to contract the breath into the part of the body that is energetically experiencing the trauma. It is important to restore the breath into this part of the body to prevent complications.
My approach to grief work is very gentle and very nurturing. Initially I work on removing the shock to the body of the loss and this is followed by a number of simple processes using breath work together with watercolour paints. This works wonders in releasing the stored grief in the body as I help you to make the unconscious material stored in your body, more conscious. This assists in dissipating the heaviness of the grief.
If you are struggling with accepting a loss in your life do yourself a favour and book a session today….you won’t regret it!!
CLAY THERAPY: [Clay Therapy]
Clay therapy works by accessing the sensations and deeper traumas held in the Psyche. Its unique quality allows one to explore the inner world of the self, bending and moulding to the will and allowing manipulation and change to take place due to it's solid but malleable properties.
Clay works wonders for:
Older children and adolescents as well as adults including the aged, who may be experiencing:
- Grief and loss
- Anger issues
- Fear and anxiety
- Clients of all ages who are resistant to experiencing their inner world.
- Inability to speak up for one’s self
The clay is explored and moulded, pulled and pushed in ways that allow for absorption of inner emotions and expression of them.
Like clay therapy, Sandtray Therapy gives expression to non – verbalised emotional issues in adults and children by placing miniature symbols in the sand to create a story or depict a scene that is causing an issue. This medium engages all the senses and allows a safe place for clients to portray their crises.
Sandplay is used by me to assist clients in working with the following issues:
- Family systems – boundaries, structure and patterns [Sand Tray]
- Self – harm
- An overactive mind and connecting the feeling body
- Orientation to ones trauma
- Inability to express in words a trauma
- Relationship issues
- Difficulty with an over active mind
- Connection to one's inner layers of stored emotion
“Often is it necessary to clarify a vague content by giving it visible form……often the hands know how to solve a riddle with which the intellect has wrestled in vain”.
(Carl Jung. (1960). The Transcendent Function)