ABOUT ART THERAPY SELF EXPLORATORY ART When reading about therapy one usually thinks of talk-therapy because psychotherapy traditionally relates to verbalizing problems to your therapist, not so with Self Exploratory Art and Therapy.
Self Exploratory Art and Therapy is based on the use of creative elements as means to unlock ones emotions that are to hurtful to talk about.
Art therapy will help a person to motivate emotional growth. In the 1940s established psychotherapy professionals discovered the power of artistic expression to tap into the unconscious layers of a persons psyche.
Art therapy uses creative activities and art making to help clients to deal with stress and traumas, gain insight, and awaken a new feeling for pleasure in living.
“What a client chooses to express through their artwork and how those expressions are interpreted are determined by the client. The therapist simply guides the client through the process, asking questions to help determine the meaning behind the signs and symbols represented in the artwork. While there is no definitive meaning for the symbols, metaphors and signs that appear in a client’s artwork, art therapists are trained to listen to the way an individual discusses his or her art in an effort to flesh out the meaning unique to that person.” (Sharp, 2008)
For a client traumatic experiences such as neglect or abuse can be extremely difficult to express in a verbal therapy. However working with art materials can ease the clients pain and the trained art therapist will be there to support the client in the process.
Art therapy is also a gentle way to help you as a client to release stress from every day life. Drawing, painting and sculpting all provide distraction from a stressful workday and the effects of art therapy seem to mimic the effects of meditation. The creative process is very engaging, having almost a hypnotic effect.
How art heals: mind-body physiology
“How does art heal?
Scientific studies tell us that art heals by changing a person’s physiology and attitude. The body’s physiology changes from one of stress to one of deep relaxation, from one of fear to one of creativity and inspiration.
Art and music put a person in a different brain wave pattern, art and music affect a person’s autonomic nervous system, their hormonal balance and their brain neurotransmitters.
Art and music affect every cell in the body instantly to create a healing physiology that changes the immune system and blood flow to all the organs.
Art and Music also immediately change a person’s perceptions of their world. They change attitude, emotional state, and pain perception. They create hope and positivity and they help people cope with difficulties. They transform a person’s outlook and way of being in the world. In fact it is now known by neurophysiologists that art, prayer, and healing all come from the same source in the body, they all are associated with similar brain wave patterns, mind body changes and they all are deeply connected in feeling and meaning.
Art, prayer, and healing all take us into our inner world, the world of imagery and emotion, of visions and feelings. This journey inward into what used to be called the spirit or soul and is now called the mind, is deeply healing. For healing comes to us from within, our own healing resources are freed to allow our immune system to operate optimally and that is always how we heal. This is the contemporary version of freeing our healing energies and is now recognized to be crucial to healing. We go inward on The Creative Spiral together through art and music.”