Art Therapy has really worked for me. When I am stressed out or overwhelmed by the prospects of the future I colour, paint, play an instrument or listen to music. I feel much better after an hour or even less spent distracted from my worries. I have always wondered what other people feel when they use Art Therapy, and I want to investigate more on the subject. I am also very curious about studies in Art Therapy and want to know which type of classes they offer, and how they approach and help people through art.
I read from different sites that have a group or individual activities related to mindfulness, plus their testimonies. It was really interesting to read the insights of people with different backgrounds and problems, and especially reading about their different outcomes. I was really amazed by reading that most people found Art Therapy successful. Looking through different websites of places where they offer different programs left me with a nice warm feeling and a smile.
Well, I think you should look into their web pages by yourself. I will just name here a few (the really small portion of the sample), but there are many out there, so check others out and if you can try to engage in their activities. Here is what I found:
They offer workshops and courses for imaginative and reflective practices. They are certified and have the point of view of a doctor in the matter, you should check it out if you have ever wondered what Art Therapy does to your body exactly. I read the list of their offers and each course presents different techniques of Art Therapy. There are a lot of ways that people can engage in the experience, all you have to do is look for the one that suits your interests. For example, I liked Art Therapy and Mindfulness and Sign, Symbol and Metaphor in Art Therapy.
From the testimonies I read, people who have taken the courses experience a transformation. They feel stronger after every session; as each session attempts to deepen into emotions and encourages individuals to become aware of the present.
What I really liked about their testimonials is that many mentioned that they didn’t feel judged at all. The sessions are for anyone who feels interested, they don’t need to have any skills in art to be able to participate in them.
The great thing about this place is that it invites a lot of people with different profiles to take part in their programs. There are artists and there are also people without any knowledge in art. There are courses to heal and there are even postgraduate and masters programs in Art Therapy.
… I always knew there was “something more” in the creative process. In the art therapy classes, I saw that intuition fit with an established way of working… (read the complete testimonies here).
You can improve your colouring skills to help you heal? That is what I asked myself when I found this web page. They don’t talk about the benefits of colouring, they just deepen into colouring techniques to help people engage with the art of colouring. This helps students to have more ways of mixing colours and creating innovative designs.
…The sketching and colouring techniques she teaches really make a difference. Most of all, I found the course a real pleasure to follow…
Complete testimonies here.
I was also really intrigued by this article I found on the BBC.
It is an article about mindfulness meditation, but it made me think about whether or not mindfulness was dangerous if it was taken into extreme practice. What would happen if you for example coloured and disconnected from reality for a long period of time? From what I read in the news, nothing. It is the point of view of a journalist, it is based on few testimonies, and the conclusion is that mindfulness can be harmful if it is practised under extreme conditions. It doesn’t take into account the background of the subjects; the conclusions are based on very little information and in isolated cases.
The importance of the articles and testimonies that I read is that mindfulness is different for every one of us. It is useless to try to pigeonhole the process and the results because everyone has a different experience when they disconnect from their worries. Every one of us uses different techniques, and some are simple and intuitive like Art Therapy, so there is no harm in there.
The importance of all the process is that it is beneficial for all of us if it is done in a proper amount, and if the activities involved are not “dramatic”. By dramatic I mean activities that change completely the way you live and communicate. And even then, if it is something you are used to, or if it is run by an expert in the matter, can it really be harmful? What about the Buddhist monks, any opinions?
Through this post, I want to point out that it is in your own hands the place, the way and the decision to heal. It is a unique and personal experience. Many of us will use the same tools, if it is painting or colouring there can be similar colours. If it is through art criticism, some of us feel the same emotions when seeing the same photograph. But these emotions are your own experience, and you travel your own path in your own way. With every Art Therapy activity you engage in, it is only you that benefit in your own personal way. It is your own personal growth and only you know what suits you best, how you want to use Art Therapy, and how you want to benefit from it.
So, with this post, I just want to encourage you to go for it. Grab anything and start expressing yourself. Let the colours help you express your emotions. Let the music express how you feel. Put yourself in your own shoes, your favourite ones, and go out and live art.