Art as Therapy
We need to make stuff.
Do you notice that you feel better when you’re in an artistic project? Or when you sing in the car? The most important thing I’ve learned in 25 years of therapy practice? When people engage their creativity, they start feeling better.
I use art methods as an adjunct to regular EMDR therapy. Art therapy can be many things, but I usually start with paper and paint. Sometimes my clients already know their medium, so they bring it with them: a sketchbook, or sewing project, a guitar . . . Anything will work.
In fact, one of the first things I find out about my new clients is their art form. What is your art form? We all have one. Even if you’ve never had music lessons, your art form may be music. And even if you’ve been told you’re not creative, you may have a painter inside you. Lots of people tell me they can’t write, but then put pen to paper and create delicious poetry.
Let’s nurture your inner artist. We’ll start slow and watch how it speeds your therapy.
ART AS THERAPY BLOGS
What Does Freedom Look Like to You?
We hear a lot about freedom from politicians and life coaches. But freedom seems a bit vapory to me. Freedom to, what, exactly? Last week, I started asking people, What does freedom look like to you? Here are some of the answers people gave me. Having the...
Notice Body-Mind Connections and Heal from Trauma
I used to fall a lot. On the sidewalk. In my yard. Up a flight of marble stairs. About seven years ago, after a string of bizarre falls where I ended up with scars on my shins and a pulled muscle in my back, I followed the trail of breadcrumbs and made a body-mind...
Book Review – Wife Material
Some in the 70s missed ERA and the end of Vietnam. Among them was Elizabeth Campbell, the heroine of Wife Material: A Novel of Misbehavior and Freedom. Cocooned from the larger world of feminism and anti-government rallies, Elizabeth was well-prepared for domestic...
Writing as Healthy Rebellion
Julia Cameron says we all have the right to write, even if someone has told us we’re no good at it. Writing is a birthright that cannot be denied. It brings what’s inside to the outside, a very basic human need. I’m working on a sequel to Wife Material, the novel I...
Find Your G-Spot: Healthy versus Coercive Guilt
My clients report LOTS of guilt. Guilt over everything . . . being a rebellious teen (thirty years ago) . . . failing to protect their children from unforeseen tragedies . . . eating desserts . . . not living up to their potential . . . breaking someone’s heart...
Managing the Mirrors: How to Stay Calm When the World is in Chaos
People ask me, “How do you do what you do and stay calm? How do you not go crazy with all the stories you absorb from people who are hurting?” I say, “Sometimes I do go crazy.” I’m not immune to people’s stress and it can make me crazy tired…..Which is why I...
Write your Life Story and Heal from It.
Wife Material, my new novel, started as a memoir before it became a work of fiction. I wrote it because I could not- not write it. In the beginning, I tried to expose the dark side of a religious sect – the one in which I spent my childhood. In the end, I’d made up...
Life-Writing: Pain Into Art
How to Write about your Life and recover from Trauma We all experience trauma: Big T and little t and all-points-in-between trauma. Relationships end. We fail at things. People die. We meet more people. Lessons get learned. And each life holds a unique story...
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