Art is therapeutic in its own right, yet when you combine art with Therapeutic counselling it is not about the end product but the process which you go through. What it reveals to you as an individual as your work becomes imbued with your spirit. Art is a wonderful rehearsal for transformation.
Art's true function is to inspire us, mirror our thoughts, and embody our emotions. When words are not enough, we turn to image and symbol to speak for us. They are a conduit to all we contain within and a way of reflecting and recounting where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. Artistic expression is far more than self-expression and has much more astonishing power. Artistic creativity offers a source of inner wisdon that can provide guidance , soothe emotional pain and revitalize your being. More important, it is a wellspring that enlivens, rejuvenates, restores, and transforms and it exists within everyone for health and well-being. Expressing yourself in deceptively simple ways - through drawings, paintings, sculptures, photography- uncovers this natural medicine wihtin. By tapping your creative source, your ability to express yourself through images, you come to know yourself more fully and deeply, access the intuitive powers within you to heal, and naturally nurture the soul. Quite simply, art is good for you and may be as important to your overall health as balanced nutrition, regular exercise, or meditation.( Excert from The Souls' Palette by Cathy Malchiodi)
My experience so far is that the art I have produced for therapy is process driven rather than goal driven and by seeing what shows itself to us naturally with out being aware of it - is amazing! It is finding your inner voice which you may have switched off to. It is so powerful and cleansing when you dont force the outcome. I ask you - "when do we have the chance as adults to play with something with out an end result in mind?"
It is wonderful when we see a picture a memory and wish to capture the moment replicate it and whilst in the process we are absorbed mindful, not aware of anything else, this is restful but when you play with a medium such as clay or colour say water based or oil, with no goal it is totally a different experience, and then turn the canvass or sculture in different directions and see how it speaks to you and then and only then help it develop. We ask what does it need?, and when we see it for ourselves then and only then can we think about changing it and once we strart transforming in our art work, then in time we will start to make transformations in our lives.
Suggested books to read
The Soul's Palette by Cathy Malchiodi
The unteathered Soul by Michael Singer
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