Art is freedom. Art is expression of the words we don’t have the strength to say. To create art is to pull a piece of one’s self, and let it out into the world.
Painting, music, dance – these art forms have been used for thousands of years, as an individual’s path to healing. Only in the 20th century was it formalized as Art Therapy. It is a three pronged relationship between the client, who is the expert of his or her life, the art therapist, and the actual art – drawing being the most common form.
This outlet of emotions is beneficial to a diverse group – soldiers diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), teenagers with eating disorders, and children with learning disabilities. It aids people struggling with anxiety, depression, physical or sexual abuse, refugees or asylum seekers – art therapy is boundary-less.
Art differs from traditional forms of rehabilitation due to its healing gift. It draws on that natural need that human beings have, to express themselves, to tell stories. It doesn’t require talent. It is accessible to all.
Art is brutal honesty.
Art is spontaneity.
Art allows us to be who we are.
Embedded in this mission, is unconditional acceptance of a person. It is a safe space – without judgement, or labels, or right and wrong.
Healing through art is similar to nursing a wound. First, the wound is wiped clean – the beginning is painful. The bandages follow – understanding one’s art. Next, we must abide by the age old adage – “time heals all wounds”. Art therapy never provides a quick fix. It is a delicate and lengthy road to recovery.
Everyone connects to art because of its universality. It is a language that everybody understands.
Each drawing brings with it, a revelation. Each line reinstates faith and balance and stability.
Each brush stroke brings power, to change the direction of the story, the power to push off darkness, and walk in the sunlight.