Counselling and The Arts
What to expect:
Sessions provide a confidential, non-judgmental space where you can talk about your experiences as well as engage in creative expression to make sense of them. We can reflect on your creative process and what you create in the session, especially in how that relates to your inner life and the situation you find yourself in.
Sometimes the best way to express our experiences, especially those we find hard to understand, is through creativity. When we are creative, we tap into our imagination and our intuition, and we are able to process information less analytically.
Translating our experiences into artistic expression can give us greater clarity and insight into what it is we are dealing with. It helps create a safe distance between us and our feelings which are now outside of us - safely contained in an image or poem or other creative form. Making art out of our difficulties and predicaments can be transformative and empowering. It gives us confidence and a sense of agency. Finding expression through what we enjoy also enhances our vitality, and our ability to take in the good and celebrate what works.
Furthermore the expressive arts encourage integration of the left and right hemispheres of the brain and bring us more into our body, attuning us into our senses. If done mindfully, creativity calms our nervous system and increases our sense of wellbeing and integration. This can be great for those who spend too much time in their heads.
Creative expression doesn't rely on words but speaks for itself. It is a useful tool for accessing unconscious memories and perceptions. This can be especially helpful for adolescents who may not have words for their experiences and for trauma survivors.
WIth the expressive arts the emphasis is always on the exploration and the process rather than the outcome or technique. You don't have to be an artist to benefit! In fact, it is quite the opposite; approaching your experience with a beginner's eye is exactly what is needed.
The creative arts I offer in my therapy room are:
sandplay or small world (working with miniatures that stand for different aspects of ourselves)
creative writing and poetry
movement and posture
voice and song-writing
sound and music-making