A session of art therapy gives you the space and time to be creative in order to help you on your way to better mental health. Being creative can mean many things in art therapy; it can include the use of traditional art materials to draw, paint or sculpt, through writing and poetry or music. But it can also mean being creative through play, being creative with words, ideas, memories and dreams.

The act of creation is essentially re-defining or re-imagining what is already there to create a new perspective. When actively participated in it can be a powerful tool for healing. Some clients are understandably nervous about this, maybe thinking that they have to be ‘good at drawing’ for instance, but this isn’t the case. Using creativity in the sessions is about the act and not the result. These acts can allow the release of negative emotions, they can resurrect parts of the self that were thought lost. Sometimes they can re-connect you with who you really are and reduce the effects of what has happened to you.

I don’t direct my clients by telling them what I think they should use or do, I guide them to rediscover what they already possess within themselves. This is a healing process that allows the client to find their independence through creative methods of their own devising.

For some this has been achieved by reconnecting with old, beloved toys. For others it has been the recollection of times when they were in control, when they were empowered. It can also be the re-writing of dreams, the re-scripting of their own life stories, to see themselves in a new light. When a client finds their creative method it can help them regain control over themselves and increase their self-worth. These are valuable steps towards healing the damage caused by past traumas or improving their positive identity within an existing condition.

My role as a therapist is to hear and see you as you are now, then to guide you and support you in the discovery of who you might want to be.

 

“Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of expression and communication. Within this context, art is not used as diagnostic tool but as a medium to address emotional issues which may be confusing and distressing.” The British Association of Art Therapists.

 

All artwork by Michael Cousin