Author: Daisy Denise Rodriguez, LMHC, NCC
WHY ART THERAPY
Art Therapy can be a complementary component of traditional therapy to enhance personal growth as well as individual self-expression. Art Therapy assists in understanding, uncovering, and expressing aspects of one’s self which, at times, may not be at the forefront of treatment. When emotions are intense, uncomfortable, overwhelming, or distressing, the act of art-making combined with the therapeutic setting, offers a unique opportunity to journey towards healing. Creating art has no rules and all levels of artistic abilities are welcomed. In session, the benefits are found in both reflecting on the finished piece as well as in the process of art-making itself.
ART THERAPY IN TREATING TRAUMA
Trauma can often be stored at the perceptual level with flashbacks, dreams, and thoughts we cannot shake off. It also lives in the body through emotions, physical sensations, and even chronic pain. For some, it also impacts spirituality and the sense of purpose. Art Therapy helps individuals express and explore these aspects in ways words cannot. If trauma has occurred during the early stages of life, before language has developed enough to help make sense of it all, Art Therapy can be an avenue to help reveal unexpressed emotions and help in the healing process.
IS ART THERAPY FOR ME?
In children, Art Therapy can be an easier, more playful path for entering the therapeutic space and working through challenges, especially when talking is difficult. There are times when Art Therapy can be developmentally more appropriate for a child compared to traditional talk therapy. Children can gain symbolic control over scary, confusing, and unchangeable events and begin to restore a sense of safety and mastery.
In adults, Art Therapy can assist in healing and managing emotions through immersing oneself in the creative process. Adults can create meaning of past traumas or difficult experiences. Art Therapy gives us a safer avenue to master uncomfortable feelings that manifest themselves in symptoms of anxiety, depression, distress, grief or pain.
Through Art Therapy, adults and children alike, are able to deepen their therapeutic journey, increase their self-awareness, and process difficult experiences. Art is an invitation for a dialogue with our inner world, enhancing our sense of self, balance, and well-being.
If you are interested in therapy for yourself or a loved one, you can request a free phone consult with one of our psychologists HERE or simply call us at 631-683-8499. All of our counselors at STEPS have made it our mission to expand our knowledge in trauma-informed care and provide the most expert, competent, and compassionate care to you and your family.
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