Endings

  When you think of the word ‘ending’ what do you think about? Ending a relationship? Finishing a good book? Leaving a job? Changing hairdressers? Death? You’re right. These are all endings, and the more of them we experience, the more you will likely form a pattern of how you deal with endings overall. “When…

Adventure Therapy

  Adventure therapy, as a distinct and separate form of psychotherapy, has become prominent since the 1960s. Influences from a variety of learning and psychological theories have contributed to the complex theoretical combination within adventure therapy. Spending time in nature through outdoor therapy can improve mental health in a number of ways. For one, time outdoors has…

Reflective Writing

Art therapists have emphasized the therapeutic effects of self-expression through art. However, the art in art therapy typically includes the visual arts (e.g., painting or drawing), while linguistic expressions, especially writing, are more often considered important in expressive arts therapies. Art therapy can be an integrative approach by embracing the multisensory and multimodal nature of…

Reflective Art-Making

“Altered Books and Visual Journaling”: “All art-making is in some way about transformation and renewal; altered art empowers the creator to restore what has been lost and make changes to what already exists through symbol and metaphor.” Once I started my academic studies my artwork moved away from realistic paintings of scenery and landscape to…

Trauma

When we experience a traumatic event the part of our brain that is responsible for language (the Brocas area) shuts down. At the same time, our brain’s danger recognition centre is on high alert and records the traumatic memory visually and in the form of bodily sensation (Rausch et al, 1996). Using art to express…

Anxiety

Art therapy has potential benefits for us all. According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy exercises help “foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, [and] reduce and resolve conflicts and distress.” However, this particular treatment has also been studied and proven to specifically help those who deal with anxiety disorders. Especially when used…

Pendent making

The creation of amulets and talismans has the power to lead us into a mindful approach to healing. Amulets and talismans are simply physical objects that are believed to have powers to cause good things to happen. When we create these, we step into the realm of self-inquiry, slowing down into the moment before us. In engaging our…

Clinical gaze in Therapy

        When the doctor views the patient as a disease, not as a person.   According to Shapiro, the clinical gaze strips people of their wholeness and leaves them feeling as if who they are is defined by their illness (Shapiro). Michel Foucault stated, “disorders became localized to a distinct point within…

How to self reflect and how it can benefit my practice

  Being able to recall what happened, and turn your insights into an action plan isn’t always easy. What is meant by reflection? A definition of reflective thinking: evaluating your first-hand experience of an event, process or activity, then; analyzing the reasons for the things that have gone well and less well, then; learning from…