Sunday, August 9, 2009

Creativity as Therapy

Years ago I thought I wanted to become an Art Therapist. I love psychology and art so it seemed natural. After looking into the requirements, the timing was off. (so were the funds!)

But I kept the idea in the back of my mind.

One reason for the interest was because art has been very much "therapy" in my own life. I went back to my art during a very difficult period in my own life. It was something that was all my own, something that I did just for me. I experienced release, joy, success, (often enough to continue anyway!) and challenge. I found like minded people and others who challenged my own ideas about life and art. There is a great deal of avant guard thinking amongst artist! And I was learning something new, which always opens us up to a bigger world experience.

I now wonder if part of my difficulties at that time were due to a frustrated creative self trying to get out?! I know that was not the whole of my unhappiness, but I think it was certainly a component. That may be pooh-pooh to some, but I think there must be some part of your life that nurtures your inner self. You need to care for that part of you just as you care for those around you. I don't mean you should be selfish with it. There must be balance in life as well. But I find that those who have this piece/peace in their lives seem the most fulfilled.

One reason I chose to blog Art as Therapy is because my daughter just went to a conference for certification in "therapeutic art" for domestic violence. Not "art therapy", which she explained uses the therapist to interpret the art made by clients and to diagnose and direct further exploration. This she explained was "therapeutic art" where the client uses the art to express and explain their own experience through their art. She wants to implement a program to help the troubled women she works with. And art will be a tool they use to explore and hopefully heal from a violent past.

I am excited for her, and for these women, since I know first hand creativity can heal and bring clarity and peace. (I was not a victim of domestic violence and we realize this is not a replacement for psychotherapy!)

But I know that finding your inner creative self and voice is a powerful place to stand. From that place, the possibilities are endless. From that vantage point-a place of endless ideas, resources, and energy-anything is possible. From that place the future looks hopeful. Think about that for a while. Let it sink in. Creativity has no limits and knows no fears!

Open yourself to that. To the creativity in you. Live a creative life! Don't be afraid if someone doesn't understand or value what you do. I remember what a freeing feeling it is to not need their approval or understanding! It is only important that you do it. And what are their motives anyway? Do you need people in your life who disapprove of your inner self? That might tell you something right there!

So live a creative life this week in some way. I do this blog as a creative outlet. And I will be doing it in a larger way this week, which I'm sure will be the next blog, so stay tuned! But sometimes small is all we can handle or need. Share the journey with me!

Have a creative week!


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