We are born creative, and this inherent creativity can be tapped by Art Therapy Interventions.
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he/she grows up."
Art Therapy Processes to get you in touch with your Creative Self
This quote has resonated within me throughout my teaching and Art Therapy career. Do you remember when you were a child? Have you observed children playing? Fantasy games; making mud pies in the sand pit; painting freely with either hands or creating miniature worlds with found objects. We are born creative. Children see themselves as artists; there is no question about who is good or bad at art. Creativity is not a special magical gift given to a few chosen ones, you are born creative; it is your natural birthright to express yourself!
How do we keep joy, passion and spontaneous creativity into our adult life? Art Therapy is one way, I would like to share with you some information about Art Therapy and some processes to get you back in touch with your Creative Self.
If we are born creative, why Art Therapy?
Art Therapy integrates the fields of human development, Visual Art and the creative process with models of counseling and psychotherapy. It incorporates the creative process of art making, such as drawing, painting and sculpture, in order to express your feelings and release emotional tension. We are born creative, a trait many seem to lose as they age, however, art therapy can rekindle this creativity!
Who benefits from Art Therapy?
EVERYONE! "But I can´t draw a straight line" That is okay, no artistic talent or skill is required.
Art making is a way to fit everything together that words cannot always express. The images you create can answer questions that you are struggling with; connecting the mind, heart and body together towards wholeness and well-being. Art Therapy is process oriented it is not about the end product.
Be Your Own Art Therapist With These Exercises
A Meditation and Mandala Drawing Process- Accessing our Creative Well
Find a quiet space for you to look inward, picture yourself walking through a beautiful garden. Then imagine that you reach a water well……looking deep inside the water well beyond your reflection, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the creative projects that are meaningful to you?
- What inspiration such as people, thoughts, feelings, events have occurred in your life?
- What were the things which you cared about and that called for commitment, whether you delivered or not?
- What are the blocks in your creative life?
After the meditation draw a mandala (circle artwork) representing what was visualized during the meditation. Then write a short statement about the essence of your creative life. After creating the mandala, put it in a place where you can view it daily to remind yourself of the symbol that represents your growing creativity.
Association Writing Process- I want, I need, I feel………
Association writing process is a tool for personal growth, designed to bring out the authentic self. It might be used with people who are experiencing a lot of change. Encouraging the imagination to flow freely (try not to think about it or censor themselves). We are born creative, so let go and get into a flow here.
In this exercise write sentences after each of the following words:
I want…….I need……. I fear……. I wish….…..I hope……I expect……..I am…………I love……I create…….
Review what you wrote, and circle things that stick out to you. Then draw a picture or write a poem using those circled words as a starting point. Remember, we are born creative, use any of these techniques to tap into you inner child!
Paint for Pleasure
You don´t need to be Rembrant to paint. Painting revives our natural flow of creativity and release of anxiety and tension to relieve the pressure of trying to produce a masterpiece you might want to try one of these methods:
- Painting blind folded to different genres of music
- Painting with a paint brush in both hands on a large canvas or paper, standing up will allow more whole body movement. The integration of the left and right side of the brain has been shown to improve overall feelings of balance and wellbeing.
Collage Arrangement- A process for feeling scattered and going in too many directions.
Flick through magazines cutting out any pictures or words that resonate with how you are feeling about your creativity. Arrange and paste these images and words on a piece of paper.
Reflect on what you have created. Then ask yourself: What images are positive to you? What would you like to have more of in your life? How would you like to be more creative?
Then look through the magazines a second time, looking for images and words of what you would like to create in your life. Create a second collage arrangement and display the second collage where you can see it daily. This process brings awareness into the energy taking aspects of your life that drain you, and may help facilitate a new energy for transformation.
"Often the hand knows how to solve a riddle that the mind has been wrestled with in vain."
These were just a few Art Therapy processes that will get your creativity vibes pumping! For a facilitated therapeutic outlet I would recommend you find a qualified Art Therapist who can create a client focused and assessed program in a safe and supportive environment.
Create a soulful place in your home or studio where you can revisit your creative processes as a ritual in your daily life. Visit an Art Store and purchase materials that appeal to you: coloured pencils; markers; acrylic paint; a collection of different paper textures and sizes. Look for things at home: empty jam jars to store paint; magazines and brochures for collage.
Try different mediums/processes until you find one that works for you as an Art Therapy Practitioner or for your client. I recommend that you have experienced a process before you facilitate it with a client, that way you understand it from both a professional and personal view. Most importantly be bold and have fun with exploring your creativity. Remember what you enjoyed doing as a child and revisit that medium or experience. You or your client will be surprised how it will re-energize, re-inspire and bring more joy into your life!