I’m excited to announce that I’m now including animal-assisted psychotherapy in my practice! So, if you choose, you will have the opportunity to work with animals (goats, alpacas, dogs, and now a horse!) in a therapeutic context.
Are you feeling stuck, down or overwhelmed with concerns or problems that you can’t seem to shake? Perhaps you just don’t feel good about yourself– a tape recorder in your head keeps telling you that you’re not as good as other people or that you “fake” your achievements. Perhaps you’ve lost someone and you just have a big hole in your heart. Maybe you drink too much or binge eat regularly? Have you experienced trauma in your life and you feel that you can’t quite release its grip?
Why Art Therapy?
You may be new to the idea of therapy, or you may have a long history of seeing therapists and want to try something different, something that would be in addition to the verbal psychotherapy that you’re used to.
Many people have come to me saying that they’ve been in therapy before, some say they are tired of talking about the same old things….but still want to move forward toward resolving what’s going on for them. And they’ve decided why not give art therapy a try?
People who have experienced trauma deal with shame, painful memories, and often feel misunderstood and alone. Starting to address those feelings with an understanding therapist can be a first step towards healing and becoming whole, rather than cutting off those difficult emotions.
Dealing with trauma through art can help people face their painful histories, their own difficult emotions, and shine a light on how to start integrating these aspects of themselves into a healthy and whole self. Talking may not provide a universally appropriate outlet; in fact, traumatic events can interfere with the brain’s ability to verbalize memories. Through art expressions such as painting, drawing, photography, and collage, and the aid of a compassionate art therapist, creative expression can circumvent the affected areas of the brain and aid in communicating and addressing experiences that are unresolved.
Art Therapy helps with self- esteem and body image issues, which go hand-in-hand for many people. Many people dislike themselves and are unkind to themselves in ways that they would find unthinkable toward strangers. We can talk for a long time about how we feel about ourselves, whether we inflate or belittle ourselves. Some people are talked-out, and others simply feel ashamed or numb and want to evolve and grow; however they do not want to only describe their inner world and behavior patterns in words.
Using Art-Making, Collage and Photography
There are numerous ways to use creative tools such as drawing, painting or clay, as well as collage and photography, to learn to “see” ourselves differently, to see the joy, grace and beauty in each of us.
The uniqueness of art therapy comes not only from the creation of artistic works, but from the life-enhancing quality of the creative process itself, and not least, the relationship of the client and art therapist as they navigate this exploration as partners.
The value of the art therapist to facilitate and process the emotions that come to the fore, once the surface layers are pulled back is immeasurable…this is the first step toward moving forward and healing.
An art therapist will not only support you on your journey, but will be able to work with you to help reveal sometimes surprising insights about yourself through both discussion and art-making.
Are you ready to improve your quality of life?
You still may have some concerns. Maybe you’re asking:
Do I need to be a talented artist? No. All I would ask is that you be open to trying something different, and to be motivated and flexible to go where this process takes you. To be a “talented” artist or to have technical artistic skills is absolutely not necessary to engage in art therapy.
My approach is flexible: during the session we might talk as well as use art materials or photography to work with whatever emotions or issues might be going on with you. I understand that art-making can be daunting; I encourage you to do artwork, but we will decide together how to work in a way in which you are comfortable.
But can I afford it? Therapy does cost money, but it can also be thought of as a gift to yourself. If you thought about all the time, energy, resources and mental space that you have given to worrying, being down, or stumbling over other things that have gone unaddressed, maybe you’ll consider that now’s the time to improve your quality of life.
You may have other questions that I can answer. I offer a free initial consultation; it gives us a chance to learn more about each other and gives you a better understanding of how art therapy can help in your healing.
Give me a call today.
We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.