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Art allows us to suffer in adaptive ways

Art can be a safe way to explore one’s inner world, including emotions and thoughts.

This can be difficult at times; however if we give ourselves a framework to follow when creating art for personal therapeutic benefits, we can start to work through issues in our own life.

Art helps us suffer in adaptive ways...

We can cover a multitude of areas in our life through artistic expression:

• Love (including Family, Sex, Relationships, Marriage)

• Money (including Debt-related Stress, Financial Expectations)

• Career (including Unemployment, Direction, Dissatisfaction)

• Health (including Physical, Mental, Emotional)

John Armstrong, has explored the psychological benefits of art in his book, Art as Therapy. De Botton and Armstrong and what they believe are the seven psychological functions of art.

1) Remembering (as it relates to memory)

2) Hope (as it relates to optimism)

3) Sorrow (as it relates to dignity)

4) Rebalancing (as it relates to restoring equilibrium)

5) Self-Understanding (as it relates to self-awareness)

6) Growth (as it relates to personal boundaries)

7) Appreciation (as it relates to the celebration of the ordinary

How can YOU start this journey into to self recovery?

Starting your own journey to self healing can be a little intimidating to say the least, but there are some simple tips we can use to start the process. Remember that art helps us accept the strangeness of the world around us by ‘moving beyond the unfamiliar’, and if we can move past what holds us back we can improve our day to day quality of life.

1: Acknowledge the strangeness we feel and be gentle on our selves for feeling it.

2: Remind us that it is normal to feel this way towards art that challenges our perceptions of ourselves and the world.

3: Make ourselves familiar with this ‘strange’ art, and thus ‘at home’ with the artist who created it. Look for points of connection between ourselves and the artist.

But I'm not artistic and I can't draw?

That's okay!

Healing through art, as we know by now is not about creating the next Archibald Prize. It's about getting what's in us - out of us. Art Therapy is about putting our problems, our fears and anxieties on the page so we can look at it subjectively. We can put space between us and our problems, by putting in on the page (or sculpture) and find the crux of the problem, root it out and change the way we both think and feel about it.

Some great forms of art to start with include:

  • creating a clay sculptures of things that remind us of feeling safe and happy

  • Make an Art Journal to draw or collage images as they relate to our problems / feelings

  • Draw a zentangle picture to let our worries slide away and bring us back into the moment

If you would like to learn how to create your own art journal, simply click on the link below to make your face to face or zoom art lesson booking.

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