“Creativity involves breaking out of expected patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” — Edward de Bono
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 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 existential questions.
Some years later, 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. How the left hemisphere in our brain is responsible for language and the right controls creativity. I realized that’s what I had been doing with my camera for years finding a way to process when I couldn’t talk about things. 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 invited, usually though a creative prompt to explore how their brain can problem solve, or make sense of a given concern.
Who can use it?
Often people think creative therapies belong to children; however, 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.