What is Therapeutic Art
Therapeutic Art incorporates many of the techniques and processes of creative self-expression as tools to enhance healing, provide a safe outlet for emotions, build self-esteem, increase the enjoyment of life, release stress, deal with times of change and transition, and more. It may be helpful for those who have difficulty expressing their feelings, who may feel overwhelmed by physical problems, have learning disabilities, or dementia, or just need a creative outlet. Throughout history, art, writing, dance, music, theater have provided the world with creative means of coping, and enhancing appreciation and pleasure in difficult times. They have taken us out of our Left Brain’s linear thinking, verbal communication, of feeling we have to be perfect, to be other than ourselves, into our Right Brain’s creative, playful, non-verbal, feeling selves to help us achieve a more balanced quality of life. As Pablo Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life.”
Learning to play, let go, and laugh, to not worry about being perfect, to feel free to be silly and make mistakes, to communicate our inner feelings, to find release, hope and comfort inside ourselves and express gratitude is the focus of our Therapeutic Art Activities. Based on your individual needs and preferences, these activities might include drawing, painting, collaging, making music and movement, writing stories, poetry or journaling, mask making or puppet play, Mandalas, SoulCollage®, photography, textiles and more. But no art experience is necessary and all the exercises are easy and fun. All attempts are perfect, however they turn out; there are no right or wrong expressions.
All of the activities encourage gratitude because the transformative power and positive affect of gratitude alone, on our mental, emotional and physical health is profound. Gratitude grounds us, turns darkness into light, loneliness into friendship, fear into peace, self pity into awareness and appreciation for the small gifts in life. “It is not happy people who are grateful, it is grateful people who are happy,” Anonymous