Art therapy is not about drawing, so if you are worried that you can’t draw, don’t be.
Art as therapy is not about how well one draws or creates art; rather it is used as a medium to instigate discussion with the participant that may otherwise not be easily communicated. Generally participants are asked to paint, draw, sculpt, create a collage or another form of art expression; the art form will depend on the tools that the art therapist has provided.
The therapist will decide if she gives the participant a subject to draw based on the history gathered or the subject may be left to the participant to decide on. Once completed the therapist will encourage the participant to talk about the process and allow them to relate their emotions or concerns by discussing the content of the artwork produced. Art therapy can help the participant express feelings and fears through the art that they may not have been aware of prior to the art creation process, or that may otherwise find hard to discuss.
All forms of creative art in itself can be very therapeutic allowing one to express themselves imaginatively, authentically and spontaneously. The art making process can help people explore their emotions and may allow them to find relief from overwhelming emotions, crisis and trauma. The creative process can enhance wellbeing and personal growth.
Louise is a graphic designer and art therapist and facilitates the creative process during our workshops. Louise believes everyone is creative and encourages all participants to explore their creativity and have some fun in the process.
We encourage you to use a journal to record your feelings, thoughts and emotions. Using a journal is a great way to express yourself, whether you paint, draw, write, paste pictures and quotes, whatever feels comfortable for you. We will use a journal during our workshops and allow you time to reflect on the process over the weekend.
Depending on the program, on some of our courses you will be introduced to mandalas. Mandalas are drawn in a circle and reflect your inner thoughts and feelings. Psychoanalyst Carl Jung has called it “a representation of the unconscious self.” Creating a mandala is therapeutic and symbolic so whatever feelings and emotions you have at the time will be reflected in your mandala.
As with most art therapy, its not about the end product, it’s about the journey. It is a representation of yourself, of something meaningful and personal.