Guided Drawing & Expressive Art Sessions
Your hands become an instrument of discovery. As you are guided through this gentle but powerful method, you bypass the conscious mind. This enables you to tap into the sensory world of your somatic body memory and allow hidden memories of unresolved trauma to surface and be released. Layer by layer your body will communicate and have an opportunity to heal that which was imprinted by early age trauma or a particular traumatic event that has been inaccessible. This method focuses on bringing inner-awareness to the present moment of your experience, not the story. You draw with your eyes close and using repetitive and rhythmic movement. This can help bring the invisible to that which is occurring inside your body. Through guided drawing another language is created between you and your body so you may connect with its innate wisdom. In a non-linear and non-verbal manner you follow the sensorimotor cues of your body to inform you of what is needed to release pain, discomfort and trauma. The goal is not to create images but for you to process your own experience within a safe container. This can be like a self massage that can help unblock and release energy. These sessions create self empowerment, a new avenue to safely heal and self nurture new behaviors and restore a deeper sense of well being
Art Can Heal
Let’s make a distinction from the start, Art therapy is not the same as taking an art class and you don’t have to have artistic abilities to participate in Art therapy. It is a process or method that helps the client tap into the right side of the brain. Learning an artistic skill is beneficial of course, as it brings enjoyment, and learning a new skill helps the brain with neural plasticity. However, engaging in Art therapy allows for the client to focus on their inner experience and creative process. We are now learning that there are far more benefits to Art therapy. Neuroscience is now giving us more information on how exploring Art therapy is good for our health.
Individuals having trouble discussing or remembering painful and traumatic experiences benefit greatly from Art therapy. It allows people to express feelings through their own unique creative process rather than talking it out. It’s very helpful for those who feel out of touch with their feelings and emotions. Studies shows that art can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression and enhances brain function. Art as a therapeutic method impacts the brain’s wave patterns, the nervous system, raises the serotonin levels, and affects our emotional states
Science is now validating what every artist has known, that the act of creating is not only a beneficial to the artist, but also to those that buy their art. Studies shows that artists that create throughout their lives live healthier and longer lives. Art therapy has been around for at least 80 years and has been incorporated beyond the classroom and clinics. Since, I received my Expressive Art Therapy certificate, in 1986; I have seen more and more hospitals, healthcare facilities like drug rehab treatment centers, senior centers, and correctional facilities create Art therapy programs for pain management, mental health management, improve social skills and resolve emotional conflict.
Art has the capacity to improve the neural systems of the brain benefiting emotional balance, motor and cognitive skills, memory and increase blood flow. A study by Professor Semir Zeki from the University College of London conducted an experiment, to see what happens to the brain when one views and contemplates on a piece of art. Subjects were shown about 30 major pieces of art, and they saw strong brain activity. Blood flow increase by 10% and new neurons fired, helping create new neural pathways. This is a strong indicator of the great potential for behavioral and cognitive relearning and re-patterning. In studies of adults who experienced trauma, art therapy was found to significantly reduce trauma symptoms and decrease levels of depression. Another study reviewed the effectiveness of art therapy found that this technique helped patients reduced depression and anxiety, increased self-esteem and an increase of well being.