On March 9th at 6pm at Copper Country Mental Health Institute, I will be giving a presentation on Art Therapy. (it is free and all are welcome)
I was given a 'suggestion list' of what I could talk about...
-A definition of Art Therapy, summary and purpose
-How has Art Therapy helped you in your emotional life?
-How is it different from an Art Class?
-Why can Art and the Creative Process help one struggling with emotional issues?
I typically arrive at the event and speak.
I prepare nothing.
I am not good at following a script...and feel nervous when contemplating a memorized piece...or if I am expected to follow a path of reasoning that is prepared ahead of time.
In creating Art, there is no pattern or path to follow...and, I am sure in life as well.
I am not sure there is a difference between doing Art and Art Therapy.
I think the process of Art IS therapy.
While playing with whatever art form you love, you will lose yourself in its grip. You will lose track of what in life you are struggling with. It is completely hard to hold on to the stress of life while playing with color and design and focusing on where the Art is taking you.
I can only speak from my experience of breaking out of denial and finding that I had no clue who I was. When my life wasn't as I thought it was; neither was I. Art held a space for me, where I still recognize this part of me...the creative part.
I was discovering my past and learning how I became who I was and had no idea who I would end up to be; and Art grounded me in reality when reality blew my mind.
I also believe, that Art is done from the side of the brain where logical and thoughtful beliefs don't live.
It was to escape my thinking mind to play.
I also believe that my Art was showing me who I was; before I knew Me.
It was also showing me, I was okay long before I felt it would be possible to feel joy or love or peace again.
It was as if my soul resided in my art...
My breakdown was to go from living as a thinking mind person to a soul full one.
And, my Art led the way.
My art is done by feeling.
I feel joy in fabrics and excitement when odd ones seem to be pleased to be near each other. The unexpected colors engaged.
I believe I learned how to Feel through my art.
I learned how to express joy, love and peace in fabric...and design.
I LOVED my Lady....and one day understood that my lady was Me.
This is what I hope to express as I speak to the NAMI group.
I journaled and wrote and wrote and journaled to figure out how my life could have been lived for 46 in denial. I wrote what the mind felt comfortable with and what my soul needed...learning about denial and how difficult it was to follow my soul, for its path led me away from family.
I walked in nature and found peace with things that remained fixed...a tree was a tree always. Unlike my experience of sexual abuse (Incest); where family turns into monsters.
Art I would say was my future....self...by reconnecting me with my Self at the time of play.
Often my art didn't make sense to me until months and often years later. I didn't know what I was doing, yet I knew it was profound and specific to me.
Art Therapy maybe is more personal. There is a connection with each piece that holds deep meaning. Or great emotion is sewn into the quilt.
It was as if I literally was stitching myself back together in Art.
The emotions of knowing you were sexually abused by a parent overwhelms the circuits we feel with.
I remember having emotions too big for our home and I had to leave and get outside.
It felt the universe was big enough to hold the volume of feelings that rushed and overloaded me.
At the same time the horrific feelings were being expressed....so were joyful ones being born.
Art was a way for me to express joy.
It balanced my world. Otherwise, I felt like I could get lost in the sea of bad emotions.
I had to look up the definition of "Therapy".
"Treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder."
Perhaps the difference between Art and Art therapy is how you feel during and after.
If it relieves your sense of disorder....it is Art Therapy.
This is one of my earlier pieces...created in 2005- "Inside Out". It was how I was learning to live....with fearless acceptance of what is.