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Welcome... the CREATISSIMO blog! If you are (or you want to be) creative, join us here and share your works, thoughts, tips, ideas, etc. with us. We all want to be creative together! We want to focus on creative process, so don't worry if you're not 'talented' (you will see that you are!). Just stop by and talk to us, ok?
Here's my e-address to talk to me 'in person':
PS1: My English is not perfect, but at least it's creative! ; ) Sorry for the mistakes...
PS2: You'll find a few words about me somewhere 'between the lines' of this blog, but you can also try to read a Slovene version on ; )

May 19, 2011

Work in progress – or the healing power of creativity

Surely you've heard of the healing power of creativity. Many studies have proved that. My field of work is mainly focused on art therapy and phototherapy, although sometimes the work also includes other forms of art, creative thinking. At the stage of getting to know the client I choose such tasks, which would show me which areas are best to work with a certain client.

Many mix up art therapy and phototherapy with therapeutic art expression and photography, which are healing as well, but in this case, we  'treat' ourselves, without a therapist or consultant. We try to heal our soul, the pain, or we put on our canvas the joy, enthusiasm, fascination. We do this ourselves.

(in progress…)

In distress, pain and worries, it's usually difficult for us to find the way out of our established, old, deep seated patterns, all by ourselves. Our artistic or other expressions are often only the temporary solution that helps us or put us in moments of comfort, but rarely help us out in a long-term - to change a pattern of behavior for good. We need a therapist, a consultant, a 'coach' who will work with us as long as we need to replace the old patterns with the new ones. And when we are free to go home, if the therapy was fruitful, we will not go back to the old pattern of our behaviour, but turn to a new pattern without any problems. This is true either you go to the fitness, are addicted to alcohol or drugs, at weight loss, learning, psychiatric problems, fractures of the legs, etc.. How long, you may ask, it takes (for one of the problems) to heal? Sometimes three months, six months, sometimes a year or two or three. Yes, you heard it right - in art therapy, the results of working on serious problems will usually show after a year or more!

I notice that, in Slovenia, we don't pay much attention to a long-term work with 'clients'. How many supervisors (those true supervisors, not those I've met and for which I don't know from where they've got the title 'supervisor') for teachers, educators, parents, staff in nursing homes, social workers, police officers… we have? All who work with people need them. They need professionals who will serve them for the support, stability, leadership... Sometimes we can find support among our colleagues, so with some kind of intervision, which is certainly better than nothing, but if we want good results, a supervision is recommended, as the counselor, therapist... comes from the external environment, and the problems can be viewed from outter perspective. However, nothing really helps, if we only have occasional meetings, only when they are needed and are not really organised.

(work in progress…)

Many supervisors use art in their work, especially with people who have difficulties to express themselves verbally. When we can't express our pain, blockages with words, we do it non-verbally. When art therapist monitors your process of expression, it is easier for him/her to determine what tasks will help you to progress or return your internal balance. Art therapists don't judge your art work and don't make diagnosing on the basis of your art work. Art therapist's task is to gently 'lead' you on your own path.

It is known that each person has within itself some sort of protective mechanism that prevents an internal change or cope with internal processes, unless we are mentally prepared. Therefore, in art therapy, nothing can happen, unless we're prepared mentally. However, the healing process in art therapy or any other therapy can be sometimes difficult and deep (depending on how deep you're willing to go).

Many would have thought that therapists, in the same manner as they are helping others, can help themselves, but it's not so easy. We need a therapist, supervisor when we find ourselves in the unsolvable situation...

These days I didn't have a supervisor or therapist at hand, with whom I would talk to about why I can't accept certain events as such, why can't I accept the fact that some people just do such and such things, etc., etc. So I did some therapeutic art (see the picture 'in progress' below). Just to lick the wound in my soul, though I know that I will have to work on my pattern of behavior that always pushes me in such and similar situations, will have to work with someone who will see out of my frames and opsticles. This solution to create art by myself is temporary, but the first on the list I will need to work with the specialist, supervisor.

(...a detail of my painting 'in progress')

Stephey from 'Marked by the Muse' reminded us to say thanks to Art.

With this post I want to say thanks for what we have: opportunity to express ourselves, to create (we have a choice of what we create), heal ourselves and others, hug ourselves, explore... We have Art that makes us rich in all areas of our lives and at each step of our life. Think about it: just where Art and Creativity are not present??

Therefore: thank you, the Art of Creating, for being here! Esp. thank you for being there for us in Art Therapy and PhotoTherapy – you are the key of creative process we work on…


Maria-Thérèse ~ said...

It must be difficult both for therapists and patients if the treatment can't be long enough! I guess there's the pressure of money and to be effective everywhere... Do people need to be lucky to get adequate help? Who gets to say when a problem is solved?

I've heard that it takes as long for a person to feel better as it took for them to feel bad. That if, for instance, something serious happened ten years ago and there have been problems ever since, it may very well take ten years to get completely okay. I worry sometimes that people are given medication just because it's quicker and in general - in health care, schools etc - that there is too little time for the individual.

foxysue said...

Thank you for this post it is very useful, but I have to say personally, in my own experience you can help yourself. I would love to have visited a 'therapist', at a time of great crisis in my life but due to lack of funds and at the doctor's advice I had to look elsewhere. It has taken many years of personal enquiry through self-help literature, yoga and meditation, also the wonderful connection with other spiritual on-line creatives to get to where I am today. Many of my own unhelpful behavioural patterns have changed, as you say this has happened over a number of years but I am definitely a different person.

stephey : Creative Living Marked By The Muse™ said...

Great message! You are the key to the creative process - how true. I believe we not only create what we want in life but we create the responses to what we do not want as well. We create our life on and off the page. As Artists we're a bit more versed in creating than others, we have lots of practice on the page. Once we take our creative process off the page and apply it to our life - that's when things truly change and we begin to thrive.

Thank you so much for participating in our monthly creative writing prompt! Your post adds such value to our theme! Be well - stephey

Miz Helen said...

Just stopping by with Katies Blog Tour,and I am so glad I did. Your blog is beautiful! Hope you are having a fun day.

Anonymous said...

I kept a SECRET GARDEN journal when I was going through head/neck cancer treatment and recovery. When the time was right, I locked it with the key, wrapped it in plain brown paper and sent it to Paris with no return address.
I found choosing the words carefully when dialoging with the cancer, my voice and me also held power and healing as well.

Amy said...

that is so pretty.. Stopping by from Kathie's place..

Brandi said...

I never thought of mental preparation before in terms of being prepared for change. But the more I think about it, the more I believe it. You DO have to be mentally prepared to deal with issues, you're so right.

Thank you for giving us an insight into the healing nature of art therapy!

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