In my Holistic Counselling practice, I take a non-medicinal approach to therapy and focus on alternative ways to help you achieve the healing you seek. One method is expressive art therapy, which uses art, clay, sand play, and creative writing as therapeutic practice. This is often referred to as “integrative” psychotherapy and has been shown to be highly effective.
Clay therapy is both empowering and immediate, allowing clients to convey their experience and innermost thoughts in an expressive, concrete way during therapy. For clients who have difficulty articulating their feelings, the medium of clay allows them the ability to express to me their anger, fear, family or couple issues and grief, when the words are simply not there to do so verbally. Typically, they gain insight through working with clay as a tangible and visible representation that can be a metaphor for certain feelings or experiences.
Art Therapy involves self-expression through painting, drawing, collages, colouring, and vision boards to gain insight into one’s emotions and experiences. It is especially useful for children and adolescents, or adults who are unable to articulate their feelings through words. Art Therapy has proven especially useful to relieve stress, manage anxiety and depression, explore and cope with trauma, improve self-esteem, overcome addictions, and improve relationships between family members and couples. It is used successfully in wellness programs, addiction treatment facilities, counselling, and correctional institutions as a nonthreatening, therapeutic practice to access subconscious drivers of unhealthy patterns and thoughts – even for clients who consider themselves “unartistic”.
Sand Tray Therapy
Sand Tray Therapy is a technique that is especially useful for young children, although it can be powerful for adults suffering from issues with relationships, trauma, and self-care, as well. It is a non-verbal form of therapy that makes use of a sandbox and miniatures to allow the client to explore subconscious needs, fears, and traumas that cannot be expressed in words. Through constructing these “sand pictures,” a client is able to visually relate a psychological condition that might be buried deep in the psyche, allowing it to surface through metaphor, symbolism, and other forms of imagery.
Body mapping combines art and psychotherapy as a way to explore one’s embodied experience, particularly complex life journeys. While it can be a useful form of therapy for adults as a way to explore their lived experience, it is also a great method for young people to use art and creativity to understand deeper psychological feelings like fear, anxiety or anger that are otherwise difficult to verbalize.
Often used as a component of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Body Mapping involves creating a life-sized representation of one’s physical form through drawing, painting, or another medium. Through the use of symbols or other metaphorical representations, it is a way of telling one’s story and connecting physiological aspects to psychological needs or feelings through the image. Ultimately, it stimulates dialogue between the therapist and client, and opens up the opportunity to explore one’s experience both literally and metaphorically.
Some additional benefits of body mapping:
- Become more Resilient, Capable and Connected.
- Helps to deal with Historical Trauma.
- Supportive towards Grief and Loss.
- Clarity around relationships.
- Decrease Anxiety.
- Increases Assertiveness.
- Helps to release stress.
- Building Personal Boundaries.
- Increases self-love and self-confidence.
- Regaining Emotional Balance.
- Building confidence.
- Regain self-worth.
- Looking at yourself and what happened to you from a different perspective.
“At your absolute best, you still won’t be good enough for the wrong person. At your worst, you’ll still be worth it to the right person.”
For more information regarding expressive art therapy or to book an appointment for any of the above expressive art therapies. Fill in the below form and I will get back to you as soon as possible.