“Creativity involves breaking out of expected patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” — Edward de Bono
For 25 years I have known the healing power of creation.
A camera was put in my hands as a teenager; seemingly saying “show us how you see things.” It never occurred to me before then that what I saw -what I thought- mattered. Holding my camera, my life was transformed. I had a way, all on my own, to transcend the situations of my, then, young life. As I grew older and experienced the world, I found creating art was a way to speak, and sometimes it was the only way I could. Words would fail, but art always seemed to get to the truth of the matter.
In 2010 I earned a bachelor’s degree in studio art from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. While completing my degree I knew I wanted to use art as a connecting point for people, but I did not know what that looked like as a career. I created art during that time which focused on the universality of human experiences, the pain of grief and loneliness, and experiential examinations.
After graduation, still not knowing what to do with my art degree, I was certain I wanted to work in the mental health field. At some point, I was presented with an article about a woman who made pottery to help herself therapeutically. I read about how she maximized the problem-solving functions of her brain in a healing fashion. I read how the left hemisphere is responsible for language and the right controls creativity. I realized that’s what I had been doing with my camera for years. I further realized that people who struggled to talk about difficulties could use creative arts therapy to explore that which could not be formed into words. I had my direction.
Creative Arts Therapy
What it is
It is a therapeutic tool, just like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and EMDR are tools. When it would be beneficial, clients are provided a space and materials to explore how their brain can problem solve, or make sense of a given challenge.
Who can use it?
Often people think creative therapies belong to children; however, a walk around the Lowe Mill will amply provide evidence that people of all ages work out their challenges on a creative plane. YOU DO NOT NEED ARTISTIC ABILITIES. Using creative therapy is NOT about creating art worthy of a gallery. It is about accessing the brain’s full problem-solving potential.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” — Albert Einstein
What it is not
It is not art classes. I do not teach people how to make art. I am not qualified to train any one, nor would you want me to! It is not a one-size-fits all tool. Not every problem can be met successfully with creative therapies, but often when a client is blocked verbally, it can serve as an alternate route to discussing a problem.
Why the Lowe Mill?
What better way to immerse clients in the healing abilities of creation than to invite them to participate in therapy in the middle of an art community? Every day, on a practical level, the Lowe Mill community connects the right and left brain of Huntsville. Artists and engineers; connecting and creating together.