What is creative therapy really all about?
- 29 Oct 2014 11:33
- Written by Michèle Bartlett
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
How do we find ourselves using art? One answer might be what happens in the therapy room when we art art and imagination as a form of communication ... and not just in the therapy room. We can also make "art" outside and find inspiring images in nature. We can use it for ourselves as a way to reflect on our lives, for example by writing poetry or journaling
For some people, just talking isn't enough - they may not have the words to express a feeling. Words can also be just a simplistic label, rather than conveying the true depth of a felt experience. If you ever wake from a terrifying nightmare, heart pounding, could you put that feeling into words? Maybe you could paint it, drum it, scream it? What if that terrifying nighmare is your life every day?
Talking it about it directly may be too difficult, too exposing - but you could show someone else, through an image.
Images, stories, puppets, music may all be used to explore various "edges" of experince, to try out different aspects of self. Always living life as a "crowd pleaser"? Try choosing a puppet to be a more assertive you. People are often surprised at what comes out of their mouth when they speak as a puppet. We know certain bits of ourselves only too well. We may have forgotten or never realised fully the other inner characters that we are not allowing a place on the stage, a voice.
The prospect of having to make images or write poems can seem intimidating. Using creative forms for self expression isn't about making good art. What is "good art" anyway and who gets to decide what's good?
In therapy, there is space for the creative process to unfold without judgement - this is about new insights and illuminating hidden corners of our inner world. In forming a unique image or creating a poem or story, we can share our experiences with another at a profound level.