Art as therapy and road to the unconscious

Naples Sun Times – Art as therapy and road to the unconscious

Art as therapy and road to the unconscious

By Silvia Casabianca 07/05/2006

How would you feel if your therapist or counselor, instead of asking you about your concerns, your emotions or your dreams, brought out art materials and asked you to put your feelings on the paper? If you haven’t tried it before, you’d probably feel skeptical, right?

And if you are unsure about your painting skills, you’d probably also be reluctant to accept the challenge. But the creative process implicit in the art making has been proven to promote self awareness and change. Your creations can give an art therapist clues about the dynamics of your psyche, and the art-making will provide relief when you’re going through stressful situations.

In 1986, I started a project with adolescents in Colombia, in the hope that I could provide some kids with the experience of a supportive environment. Like everybody else, I had gone through the doldrums when I was a teenager, and thought that I could prevent others from going through the same thing. In many cases, when it came to emotions, these kids found it easier to express themselves through art than with words. The project with youth got increasingly interesting, and in 1988, led me to look for a change of career to serve them better.

One day, while I was looking through the shelves of one of my favorite bookstores in Bogotá, a book fell to the floor. It was Edith Kramer’s book The Use of Art as Therapy. I bought the book and sank into it during the weekend. By Monday, I had decided that I wanted to become an Art Therapist, and I did. I got a master’s degree at Concordia University in Montreal. Back in my country, I created a not-for-profit organization to continue working with youth, and found art therapy very useful to help them in their process of self-discovery. I also opened a studio and started a private practice.

Clients would come to my place for art therapy sessions and work with a variety of media, mostly acrylic paint, pastels, oils and crayons. I had learned that different art materials elicited different responses and offered these materials according to the needs of the client.

Continued here….

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One response to “Art as therapy and road to the unconscious

  1. i like the way you think…eventhough i am not into artistic work

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