My approach to Art Psychotherapy is to provide the clients with the
to explore their creativity while developing their "visual voice" to express their feelings, needs, and
identity issues. I utilize a variety of expressive modes including drawing, painting, 3 dimensional art,
music, and guided imagery to assist the clients in exploring their inner self. Such experiences help to
reconnect the cognitive-affective split while promoting healing.
I choose drawing and painting as my personal means to communicate but I do not limit my clients from exploring the many creative ways that one can use to get in touch with their inner healing process. Art is only one of the many ways in which we communicate with that part.
Often times we do not pay attention to anything unless it is connected to words, written or spoken. Most of our culture is so obsessed with words that it seems like the biggest parts of ourselves have been lost in the masses of words. Although the written and spoken words do indeed help to clarify when we are not sure of our perceptions, words can also be confusing when they are lies or do not match with what really is. We only know what really is when we use words and feelings at the same time. Our feelings, however confusing at times, are attempting to communicate to us when we need to make a change or when we are just fine the way things are. When we ignore our feelings, we begin to not pay attention to what our needs are. Then we stop feeling good. Our words often do not match how we feel. We read what our needs are by words alone and do not make decisions base on a full realization of what our needs are. Words are not meant to be the ultimate expression in and of themselves. We have placed too much power into words and not trusted all the other messages we receive...like when we choose to ignore our feelings about a way of life and then get ulcers as a result. Or we ignore our gut feelings about an action by rationalizing why we should do it and then find ourselves in total regret, wishing we had listened to our guts instead of just our heads. This is so common a mistake and yet we continue. We have been taught to not listen. How this has happened is not at the tip of my tongue right now and I am sure it is very complicated a thing but I do know that when people become mentally ill or bothered in some way, they often have to go back to that inner, most natural, healing path, by getting in touch with that inner self and changing something to match what the inner self needs. It is then that the words spoken can begin to make real sense.
The power of the word. How much do we hear about "the word" as being God. And then we listen to "the word" and forget what God is telling us all around us. Man can take "the word" out of context and make it fit into any skewed direction he wants. But can man take everything out of context? Can he take the whole of life itself and make it fit into his own desires? Can man use the language of nature for his selfish desires? Probably not. He can destroy nature but if he listens and understands it, he can do nothing but accept it because that is really what God's word is. The words we use are merely a feeble attempt at translation and we've missed the whole of it. We have forgotten the true God.
How does one do that? Getting back to my approach, by getting back to listening to ones inner self. By finding the language of the inner self, inner healer, inner God, inner child, whatever one wants to call it. It is the source of the divine, the creative, the healing energy.
I do not claim that doing art is the only way to get back in touch with one's self but I use art in my work with others because I happen to be able to hear what the art often is saying. Art never lies. One just has to know how to hear the language.
There is a language of music also, much the same as art but the messages that go through the ear to the brain touch a part of the brain that is connected to the feelings parts.
Nature is also a language...one that native Americans were very much in tune with. It seems like the Native Americans were able to project themselves into nature in order to see their own ways and learn from them.
About the Individual Therapy I Provide:
I provide one-on-one counseling and supportive therapy, with a primary focus on the creative/healing processes that we all have regardless of talent. Drawing on my extensive training and art psychotherapy experience. I facilitate healing, emotional growth, and cognitions using art therapy methods as well as counseling theories and techniques. Clients are encouraged to explore their different wants/needs/goals and are guided according to an ongoing assessment of wants/needs/ goals. The therapy experience provides an atmosphere of sharing and healing as exploration of self is attempted and esteem of the self is raised. Art work can provide a considerable amount of assessment information, acting as a reflection of the client to the client and therapist. Plus the experience can be just plain fun and relaxing, breaking down barriers to having fun and relaxing.