Art: Express, Release, Aha, and Change...
Why are we doing that kid stuff in therapy? I'm not an artist!
The first time I ask a client to scribble, paint, draw or make something with clay in a session, they are sometimes taken aback. Once their hands start moving, they get it. But why is it so powerful? Here's what is actually happening...
We experience our emotions first as images and sensation then in words. Our senses and the right side of the brain take in all of our experiences, then the left side of the brain makes sense of them in verbal thought. If emotions are held in the body-mind as images, then it follows that imagery and symbols rather than simply words are the most direct route to connect with our tangled, difficult emotions. Creating art releases images born from our feelings and experiences. Once these images come out, they can be seen objectively and their messages understood. Thus emotions that were once unmanageable and destructive become the muse that calls us to the dance of life.
Simply using words can actually interfere with the body’s ability to feel feelings as they are happening. It can be a bypass. Any kind of creative expression gets to the vivid core of things effortlessly.
Benefits of the Creative Arts 1. Offers a safe container for difficult feelings
2. Opens up different parts of the brain that bypass inhibiting and often deeply ingrained thoughts and beliefs, which can be understood, then verbally processed.
3. We have a tangible symbol of their inner landscape
4. Artmaking is a new skill that can give us ongoing support, your own portable therapist!