By Jackie Fedyk
What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy in its simplest form is a branch of psychotherapy involving self expression and mindfulness to help one deal with stress, depression, anxiety, or PTSD through creating and maintaining art projects. Let’s talk about art as therapy, because you already have what you need to get started.
Art as therapy is something that you can take charge of yourself at anytime in your life. You do not have to have talent or a background in art to utilize art as therapy. My personal definition of art as therapy is to take time out of the day and devote it to a creative task with the intent of turning harmful/stressful energy into something else, something positive, something mindful that calms the psyche and brings you back to a more balanced emotional state.
Your knowledge of art as therapy can come from your personal lifelong experience with creativity. Many people struggle with anxiety and depression, as children we play to deal with these feelings. We color, we draw we paint. We were practicing art as therapy before we even knew what is was that we were doing.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
Your personal journey with creativity will be one of the the most positive experiences that you can cultivate for yourself.
Whatever distress you’re in; stress, anxiety, PTSD, depression or whatever, you can use art as therapy to transform those negative emotions into something positive and maybe even something beautiful.
Art as therapy can take many forms; drawings, paintings, journals, songwriting, cooking, knitting, stitching, collage, assemblage, wood carving or cake decorating; the list goes on and is personalized to your needs.
Here at the Orchard we have an opportunity to help those who are interested in art as therapy, but may not know where to get started. You can join our art therapy group, we meet the last Friday of every month. We are called Who Arted?.
Everybody needs to art. If you don’t art, you could explode. You will not be judged on the quality or quantity of your art here and is doesn’t matter at all if your art is beautiful like a rose or if it stinks. Everybody is welcome here.
In Who Arted? we focus on art journaling using various techniques including; collage, mixed media and page distressing to help you get started “destressing”. We do not focus on any specific topics because the idea for this group is to use the time for creating something, anything; and to have fun doing it! We have a very supportive and friendly group. You do not need to bring anything except your own art journal. We provide all other art supplies. If you feel less than confident with your skills as an artist, no big deal. This is your time and your journal, whatever you create inside it is your art therapy!
You will be surprised to discover what magic and mindful power our creativity has over our emotions, and once you get started with an art journal you just may become addicted. If you make the time and if you give your mind the opportunity and tools to create, it will do the rest on its own, and you will achieve relief from life’s stresses in the process.
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo Picasso…again.
Don’t be shy! Come sit in with us and get started on your personal art as therapy journey. Bring in your journal and we will destroy it with therapeutic, creative beauty. Don’t be afraid to explore your anxiety through creativity, you will learn a lot about how to cope with your emotions, promote personal development and become confident with your creative side. Hope to see you soon!
Hosted by artist/massage therapist Jackie Fedyk
The Last Friday of the month
Check the Orchard Calendar for dates
Bring Your Journal, all other supplies will be provided
Who can use art as therapy?
Anybody any time.
But I have no artistic talent.
Doesn’t matter, it’s all about the act of creating to relieve stress.
Where can I learn more about art as therapy?
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is a great way to get in touch with your inner artist while working on personal past and present issues. It’s a book you can order on Amazon; a workbook is also available.
Tell me about an art therapy success story.
Check out the documentaries Marwencol directed by Jeff Malmberg and Amarmgosa directed by Todd Robinson, and get inspired! Also PBS has an amazing series about contemporary artists that is amazing called Art 21: art in the 21st century.