Rooted in Freud and Jung's theories of the subconscious and unconscious, art therapy and creative expression is based on the assumption that visual symbols and images are the most accessible and natural form of communication to the human experience. Think about it, you probably used symbols to communicate long before you had the words to describe them. My clients are encouraged to visualize, and then create, the thoughts and emotions that they may not be able to talk about or are even consciously aware of. By drawing or using other visual means to express troublesome feelings, clients can begin to address these issues, even if they cannot identify or label these emotions with words. The result is a very powerful and authentic exploration of deeply rooted feelings, patterns and experiences that impact day to day living.
As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Art Therapist, I also work with traditional forms of "talk" therapy combined with the use of art and creativity to help you derive meaning from your personal symbols and images. I do not analyze your work but rather help you glean meaning from what you have created and what it represents for you. Keep in mind that you do NOT have to be an artist for art therapy to be effective. A simple willingness to engage in the creative process is more than enough. The results can include:
Self-discovery: At its most successful, art therapy triggers an emotional catharsis and release of deep rooted patterns and feelings that provide insight and awareness into one's self.
Personal fulfillment: The creation of a tangible work of art can build confidence and nurture feelings of self-worth. Personal fulfillment comes from both the creative and the analytical components of the artistic process.
Empowerment: Art therapy can help clients visually express emotions and fears that they cannot express through conventional means, and can give them some sense of control over these feelings.
Externalization: The idea of "getting these feelings out" and down on paper is a tangible way of seeing what has been expressed and provides the opportunity to review and revisit the work throughout the course of therapy and even long after.
Relaxation and stress relief: Chronic stress can be harmful to both mind and body. Stress can weaken and damage the immune system, when used alone or in combination with other relaxation techniques such as meditation and guided imagery, art therapy can effectively relieve stress.
Please call or email me for an individual, couples or family therapy consultation today.