Art Can Heal A Broken Heart: A Self-healing Therapy
December 6, 2019
When a loved one hurts you, there is some kind of loneliness and misery that lingers, often for quite some time.
When you are sad, you usually turn to drinking, staying in the room for hours, or crazy shopping. But there are actually more positive ways to deal with heartache. This article helps those who have been victims of heartache.
Have You Gone Through A Painful Breakup Lately Causing Your Mental Stability To Go Haywire? Is There A Chance That Your Broken Heart Ever Heal?
Have you experienced a broken heart? Did you discover ways that can heal your broken heart? Can you imagine that art can heal a broken heart?
It’s not easy to mend a broken heart. Going through the process of recovery from a broken relationship can take time. You will have to exert an amount of effort to be able to feel that your life is giving you enough reasons not to give up. Though some circumstances are surprisingly hard to fix and adjustments are not that easy to handle, you can always find a better way of keeping your emotional and psychological aspects healthy as possible. So how can you fight stress and depression after ending a toxic relationship? Well, art can heal a broken heart.
How Art Can Heal A Broken Heart?
Let’s Start By Learning Its Importance
Art can be a good source of mental enhancement because it reaches the part of our brain that allows us to maximize its use to contribute to our overall well-being. Art can mend because art creates a connection between our psychological, behavioral, physical, and emotional states. Also, the process of art therapy supports our personality development because it helps in the series of quality decision making, responsible self-evaluation, and problem-solving.
“The patient uses and makes art to convey their feelings at that moment or relating to experience or past situation,” Wayne Jonas, M.D., says. He explains further, “When people are experiencing intense, complex, or confusing emotions, the use of art in a therapeutic setting can help them learn about, manage, and communicate their feelings in ways that language cannot always accomplish.”
Art Therapy Heals Your Broken Heart – How Does It Deals With Mental Illness Like Depression
The process of art therapy helps us to alter our perspectives where we tend to create plausible responses that are applicable in certain nerve-racking situations. Art can heal our imagination and creativity that are beneficial in attaining developmental growth. In fact, working on art gives us boosting brain energy to fight stress and anxiety.
According to Cathy Malchiodi, Ph.D., LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT, “Art expression often becomes a pathway for transforming feelings and perceptions into a new life story and, as a result, creating a new sense of self.”
Art as Representation Of Emotions
Art makes us recover emotionally. Thus, art can heal a broken heart.
In line with that, seeing a visual representation of what we’re going through and applying physical skills in showing our ideas and emotions are a better way of developing stronger and healthier well-being. Art therapy gives us a space to allow difficult emotional issues to formulate their solutions in our brain to be able to keep us safe from distractions and possible mental health conditions.
Why Visuals Matters When It Comes To Healing Shattered Pieces Of Your Heart
Art matters because it represents a different view of our struggles in life. Art makes us believe that our existence matters and that we have a connection with health and nature. Art somehow helps in creating positive solutions to our current damaged psychological and emotional state that can affect our behavioral aspects as well. In fact, when we let the art speak for us, we tend to appreciate life along with the complexity art gives to us. We somehow learn to value the things that we no longer have control with and see ourselves as an individual who can work with imagination and creativity.
Using Art To Express What’s In Your Heart
Art is a form of self-expression, and when we are in a state of depression, it’s more comforting to draw, paint, or mold something out of our deep thoughts. Sometimes, we even create a masterpiece coming from different ideas and tend to incorporate our emotions into the piece we are trying to produce. This art process makes us feel happy, satisfied, contented, and aware of ourselves and that creates a massive contribution to keeping our mental state intact.
“No matter when or where the artwork is created (or appreciated), we should keep in mind that art always tells a story,” Arthur P. Shimamura Ph.D., professor emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, wrote. “That story may be intended for us to be taken by its beauty, but it may instead force us to elicit other feelings, such as anger, surprise, or disgust.”
Depression and all types of mental illness are inevitable at some point in our life. However, when we try to learn to appreciate doing things that can make us happy; perhaps all those mental conditions won’t be available.
Explore Other Therapy Ways That Heals Your Broken Heart
However, if these unpleasant mental and emotional problems still persist despite various attempts at self-healing, try reaching out to a credible, experienced, and compassionate therapist from BetterHelp. You will get matched with someone who specializes in providing thorough information about depression and several strategies on how to manage the challenges that you are confronted with daily because of it. Learn the different ways that therapy can be done by reading this. If you are interested in art therapy, you can always get started today!
Art Therapy: A Coping Mechanism For A Stressful Breakup
November 29, 2019
Once in our lives, we tend to experience a painful breakup with someone we love. That instant moment of devastation and extreme sadness from a failed relationship causes so many burdens on our mental and emotional state. In fact, the stress and depression that goes along with that painful experience can lead to severe health conditions that can damage our overall well-being. “Immediately after the separation it is normal for the brain to give a strong reaction to the lost relationship,” says Rhonda Freeman, Ph.D. Good thing there’s an enjoyable way of dealing with heartbreak, and that is what we call art therapy.
What Is Art Therapy?
The expression of a person’s creative skill from his source of imagination is known as art. It correlates in art therapy because it involves the encouragement of self-expression through drawing, painting, and modeling. It is a form of psychotherapy that is useful in remedial aid for the diagnosis of specific mental illness. It is a tool that allows access to our conscious and subconscious mind. “The use of art therapy for mental health purposes originated during the 1950s when it was found that art-making could assist in healing and coping with symptoms,” Katharina Star,
How Art Therapy Works
Art therapy focuses on our positive emotions where we tend to express our feeling through the use of different types of mediums. The images and colors we use in our drawings or paintings somehow represent a different meaning that is sometimes a product of our current or past situations. We tend to produce a hidden masterpiece using our subconscious mind, and that’s because our brain somehow tells us that we should create a piece of art not from a particular idea but rather out of our feelings. Those images soon represent our desire, hope, and dreams as well as our burden, fear, and pain gathered from our life experiences. pain gathered from our life experiences. “[I]t involves the application of a purposeful, meaningful art-based intervention in contrast to an art activity or art ‘project’,” says Cathy Malchiodi, Ph.D., LPCC.
Indulging in arts promotes personal progress which is beneficial when it comes to fighting depression and other mental illnesses. It releases a compelling balance in our human capacity for us to be able to recognize our capabilities in handling emotional and psychological trauma. It allows us to put our dilemmas into visual representation so we can learn to accept and understand the process of recovery to cope up with such devastating circumstances.
How Art Therapy Influences A Person
The opportunity of knowing our capabilities is essential when it comes to the conception of a product out of creativity and artistic skill. The creation of shapes, colors, volumes, and other marks in our masterpiece is somehow related to our emotional and psychological understanding. Art therapy helps us to determine that there are things that belong to us and there are those that do not. Hence, it gives us a clear view of what types of factors are useful in our life when it comes to decision making, social interaction, and personality development. Art influences us to discover certain parts of ourselves that we already have that we never seem to give importance to.
A toxic relationship causes severe types of stress and depression. Sometimes, it even puts us in a situation where we think that everything around us is pressuring us to become a better person. Learning art is an excellent way to express ourselves, explore our emotions, develop our self-awareness, improve social skills, and even resolve emotional distraught.
Another effective and convenient way to keep your mental health at bay is by talking to a therapist online through BetterHelp, where you can get in touch with someone at the comfort of your own home – 24/7. To learn more about it, watch these videos of client success stories, or read reviews from employees themselves on how they feel about working to provide healing.
Benefits Of Arts In Personal Development And How It Contributes To Your Relationship
November 22, 2019
You may be aware of the benefits of art in your life because it allows you to have a better understanding of your potential skills when it comes to imagination and creativity. Art gives you a strong sense of self-worth which is essential in dealing with life stressors. Also, it helps in formulating your mental, physical, and emotional aspect with the help of different types of skills that are somehow applicable in handling your relationship.
Accountability – Art promotes accountability where you tend to become responsible for your actions towards your production. You tend to value the hierarchy of applicable rules that are applied in your composition, modeling, drawing, and painting. Your learning towards self-accountability is useful in making the right decisions in your life and social interactions as well.
Perseverance – You attitude towards doing something out of the ordinary is one of the main factors of art. And when it comes to your relationship, the building of your motivation to continuously exert an effort despite difficulties and failure is something that you can learn to recognize. Having a goal to accomplish will give you enough reason to continue doing what you’re supposed to do. “Some individuals thrive when things aren’t going their way. It’s almost as if they view each new task they undertake as a test of their mental and physical stamina. When the average person would become bored, frustrated, disappointed or some combination of the above, the highly persevering people among us never flag in their enthusiasm or effort,” writes Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D.
Collaboration – The process of art is open to collaboration of ideas, and when it comes to your relationship, you tend to share your thoughts and opinions positively. It helps both you and your partner to get amazing results from understanding the different point of views that are beneficial in sustaining a good working bond.
Dedication – When you value art, you tend to have a dedication to everything you do. Same goes in your relationship because you tend to emphasize the things that matter to you and your significant other. You become dedicated to a specific idea of keeping what you already have and continue doing the things you already started. “Only by being completely dedicated to your direction and decision will you ensure that you have the motivation you will need to achieve your change goals,” writes Jim Taylor, Ph.D.
Problem Solving – Like your relationship, art promotes critical thinking and problem-solving. Every decision is significant because it creates a small to massive impact on your masterpiece. It will cost you an ample amount of effort, time, and strength that are extremely important in the culture of clarity and positivity.
Receiving Feedback – Art values constructive criticism because it helps in improving certain skills and abilities. It somehow applies to your relationship because you tend to value other people’s opinion towards your action. It helps in the way of developing open-mindedness and acceptance towards your significant other.
Confidence – Art is a great way of boosting your self-confidence. It allows you to bring out the best in your personality. It is essential to a relationship because it provides an excellent source of encouragement to improve your potentials and strength. “Self-confidence doesn’t mean you won’t sometimes fail. But you’ll know you can handle challenges and not be crippled by them,” writes Barbara Markway, Ph.D.
Non-Verbal Communication – Art is something that doesn’t require verbal communication because it sends out a message through expression and visual representation. As for your relationship, gestures and chemistry are the essential determining factor that you and your partner are already communicating towards each other.
Focus – Your ability to think and respond to your ideas and emotions are the typical signs of creativity. Therefore, art is a gateway to your learning, perception, memory, reasoning, and problem-solving. It is essential in building your relationship as well because it allows you to avoid distractions coming from pressuring scenarios and instances.
Creativity – The formulation of the unique connection between two unrelated ideas is what art is all about. Same goes for your relationship because the disparate personalities of you and your partner are crucial in sustaining a good romantic relationship. Therefore, your ability to see even one connection to the distinction of your characters is more than powerful enough to maintain a working bond.
Art is a very effectual tool in improving our mental, emotional, and psychological state. It doesn’t only make us apply its rules to our relationship situation, but it also allows us to value our worth and capabilities.
How Can Art Help In Psychological Reform Concerning A Broken Marriage?
November 15, 2019
There are various causes of mental illness that a person can get after a traumatic experience from a broken marriage and each one of them requires tons of variety of treatments. The healing procedure varies depending on the severity of the case of the psychological condition and the capability of the person to address his situation. Though some may take it to a maximum level of psychotherapy, there’s also the easiest way to help them recover, and that’s with the use of art.
What Is Art Therapy?
Art therapy focuses on the facilitation of enabling a person’s meaningful life through the use of several artistic ways. It uses a wide variety of sources and techniques that pay attention to both the procedure and result of a masterpiece from a person’s point of view, emotions, and thoughts. Art therapy uses art media that helps a person create a reflection of their emotional and psychological state. Some examples of artistic activities that people often use are writing, playing musical instruments, drawing, sculpturing, and the list goes on.
“It is a dynamic, integrative approach to treatment that capitalizes on the expressive component of art-making as a central factor in supporting health and well-being,” writes Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT.
How Can Art Therapy Help A Person?
The process of art therapy helps a person in most significant ways. It pays attention to the individual’s creativity that is somehow useful in dealing with stress and anxiety. It promotes a healthier brain function due to the development of psychological ability. It encourages the development of psychological strength by transferring thoughts and ideas into different forms, movements, and colors that are available for visual purposes. Also, an individual that undergoes art therapy attains improving products of his personality, ability, interests, and skills.
“Creativity of all types is a premier form of psychological adaptation, the effect of a healthy muse because it involves the ability to change and improve all features of the environment,” writes Albert Rothenberg, M.D.
Why Is Art Therapy Beneficial?
Art therapy is beneficial because it does not only support a healthier normal brain function but also enhances emotional strength as well. It gives a person a list of development regarding his emotional response that is useful in handling critical situations. In fact, art improves a person’s mental skills that can help in making better and lasting positive decisions that he can use in stressful events. A person who loves art tends to become more aware of his thoughts and increase his self-esteem. In line with that, the process helps in managing his behavior and enhances his ability to solve problems using critical judgment. Aside from that, art is said to reduce stress levels and aids a person to interact with reality.
How Important Is Art In Psychotherapy?
Art is essential in the process of psychotherapy because it helps in stimulating a person’s brain function. It serves as a representation of his emotion and perception from life experience. The images and colors represent a deep meaning that somehow shows happiness, sorrow, and pain over a constant psychological and emotional struggle.
“Expressive artistic activities have a useful role in psychiatric rehabilitation as leisure and occupational skills,” says William Spaulding, Ph.D. “Although specific interventions have not been evaluated in controlled clinical trials, it is clear that having such skills is an important factor in recovery.”
Dealing with a traumatic event in life – especially when it comes to marital problems – is crucial and the least that a person can do is look on its brighter side. Learning art is a great way to help them fight stress and depression that goes along with the reality of a broken relationship.
However, sometimes, even art and other self-help attempts do not hasten the healing. If you are still struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns because of broken marriage, seek guidance and enlightenment from an expert at BetterHelp. He will walk you through some efficient steps on how to deal with your mental and emotional struggles gradually but surely. And getting connected is easy, as you can do it right from the comfort of your own home. Visit the BetterHelp site today!
My Wife’s Depression Written In A Journal
November 8, 2019
My wife and I have been married for almost eight years already, and I must admit, it was never a type of smooth relationship. Our relationship suffered from different ups and downs that sometimes made us hurt each other emotionally and mentally. Though the process of our marriage didn’t somehow end up in the grave, I can honestly say that it was a compilation of unpredictable and exhausting moments of our married life.
My Wife And Her Depression
There was a time that my wife and I were about to call it quits. We filed for divorce and thought about not seeing each other anymore. Even though we knew it could break our family, we made sure that there were no regrets once we decided to end the marriage. However, due to her mental condition where she developed a severe case of depression, we both agreed to step back with our irrational decisions and gave our marriage another try.
“People who undergo divorce face a variety of psychological issues including increased stress, lower life satisfaction, depression, increased medical visits, and an overall increase in mortality risk compared to those who remain married,” writes Romeo Vitelli, Ph.D.
The Sacrifices Made To Save Our Marriage
It was a particular moment that we knew things would never be the same. However, we tried to talk about the things that made us both think about our relationship. From there, we agreed to make amendments to the kind of response we should give to each other so we would be able to sustain the respect we both needed. We paid attention to the essential things that we needed to be able to stay together reasonably.
I knew that my wife was suffering from depression, but I somehow noticed little changes regarding her behavior. She became a positive thinker and started to affect me as well as our relationship. She managed to overcome her anxiety and stress from the past, and that was something that I never thought could happen in a short span of time. She became a different person who thought about the good side of life and aimed to have a better future.
“The positive emotions we get from the change get less and less frequent each time,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, a social psychologist at the University of California, Riverside, and author of the 2013 book The Myths of Happiness. “If you open yourself up to new opportunities and potential surprises with your partner, then that can slow down adaptation.”
The Help Of Her Journal
“When we write things down, they feel more manageable,” shares clinical psychologist Perpetua Neo, PhD. “Writing helps get things into perspective and puts a damper on feelings of worthlessness. It brings me back to reality.”
All those changes that I noticed with my wife were all because of her journal. I figured out that whenever she writes her struggles and worries in life, it somehow helped her to become emotionally strong. Writing became her coping mechanism to heal herself from frustrations from our poor relationship. In some instances, it helped her gain improved decision-making skills and made her a better planner. She even started to have more confidence and became a better person, one I never thought she would become. She became creative, adaptive, and happy. My wife also enhanced her communication skills due to the art of writing, and that perfectly made me so proud of her.
I admit that our marital issues were once out of hand and my wife’s depression was the turning point of our marriage. However, my wife’s journal was the only thing that made me realize how powerful the art of writing can be. It didn’t just save my wife from her mental condition but also gave us a chance to save our marriage.
How Colors Affect Our Mental Wellness
November 1, 2019
From the moment we wake up in the morning, we see colors everywhere. We don’t even take notice of how colors mean to our everyday lives. We know that the sun is yellow, the leaves are green, the sky is light blue, and the clouds are mostly white.
How Art Contributes To Our Overall Wellness
October 25, 2019
Art is a tremendous help to people who have mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, and more. “Drawing, painting, or molding objects from clay has been scientifically proven to help people to deal with different kinds of trauma,” says Maria Cohut, PhD. It creates a healthy learning environment where there is room for improvement and wellness. It benefits people who are suffering from medical conditions not just psychologically but physically by promoting their healing process.
Studies reveal that patients who are doing art therapy show a significant improvement in their health compared to those who rely mainly on medications and aggressive interventions. For this reason, doctors use art as a complementary method in the treatment of patients with medical conditions.
Art therapy can contribute to severe medical health conditions such as cancer and heart problems. It is due to its benefits in diffusing stress which is one of the leading factors contributing to these diseases. It can also psychologically prepare patients who will undergo surgeries.
Art Therapies Used To Aid In Healing And Improvement Of Medical Conditions
Drawing is a type of art which uses pencil, ink, charcoal, or markers to create details. Some mental health conditions such as autism can cause a person to do extraordinarily with his vision and memory, making him remember every aspect of an image in front of him.
Painting is an art which involves the use of different colors of paint to create images using paintbrushes or sometimes just the hand. It is an activity which allows patients to express their feelings and emotions freely. Sometimes, communication is a challenge for people with health conditions, and through the use of art, they can show what they confine within them. “[L]et go of results; create something that’s just for you in a drawing journal, a canvas, or whatever you have handy,” says Elizabeth Scott, MS.
Sculping is the use of clay, wood, or metal to mold, form, or shape an idea. The mind works with the hands to bring to life the feelings and emotions confined within a person. Whether he is happy, sad, angry, or frustrated, sculpting can be a tool to divert all the overwhelming feelings that are sometimes too much to handle.
Art can contribute to the healing and wellbeing of a person whether it is psychological or physical. That is why healthcare providers acknowledge it by prescribing and using it as an additional therapy for treating a condition.
How Art Works In Our Overall Wellness
- Art is vital as a tool for expressing oneself, and as already mentioned, some mental health conditions cause difficulty in communication. It allows for self-expression and breaks the barrier between a person and his environment. It creates a connection between the mind and the physical element of this world.
- Through art, a person can feel a sense of achievement and realize that there’s something beautiful that comes from his condition. It boosts self-esteem and self-worth making a patient understand that he is more than just his illness.
- Art promotes calmness and peace. It makes a person concentrate on one thing, avoiding distractions. It helps in diffusing stress that causes anxiety and depression. It relieves the mind with thoughts that can trigger depressive thoughts.
- Art promotes positivity. It diminishes frustrating and negative thoughts that can cause a person to feel sicker than he already is. It diverts the attention to good things rather than linger to the negativity of a condition. An ill person can continuously think about pain, missed opportunities, and mortality. Through art, the patient can consider positive thoughts and do worthwhile activities.
“In brief, creativity is increasingly being validated as a potent mind-body approach as well as a cost-effective intervention to address a variety of challenges throughout the lifespan,” says Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC.
Our overall well-being depends on how we see life in general. We are ill when we think we are. Through art, we develop a positive perspective that allows us to embrace life despite medical conditions. It makes us realize how extraordinary we can be even with our limitations.
When Art Symbolically Illustrates the Sufferings of the Mind
October 18, 2019
Art is the reflection of creativity and an outlet for stress. More than that, it is an expression of repressed emotions that can only be asserted through the stroke of a brush or the movement of a pen.
The Influence Of Color To A Person’s Psychiatry
October 11, 2019
One area of psychiatry utilizes the method of understanding the different shades, leading to better understanding and identification of thought processes and emotions manifested by every individual. This is called color psychology.
Color Defines How You Feel And Behave
When you enter a particular room, does the color affect your mood in some unexplainable manner? Does the sight of the shade make you feel relaxed or invigorated? Interior designers and artists have always believed that colors can significantly and dramatically affect a person’s mood and emotions which is why they are very particular with the type of shades that will be used in their craft.
In psychiatry, every color becomes a powerful tool that is utilized to communicate physiological and mental reactions non-verbally. Specific colors are also associated with physiological manifestations like eye strain, metabolism, and fluctuating blood pressure.
How Color Speaks To Every Individual
Colors, though given specific universal meanings, are often subjective and are open to interpretation. For example, red is seen by others as the color of love, but for some, it’s a color of rage or anger. However, other shades of red evoke certain feelings of warmth, depending entirely on the spectrum the color it is affiliated to, such as red-orange or red-yellow.
Another example is blue which, for some signifies tranquility but for others, it’s the color of indifference or sadness. For licensed psychologist and journalist, Lisa Johnson Mandell, L.P., “Blue is the best color to put on to an interview because it sends out confidence and reliability. Therefore, many working uniforms or business suits are of blue color.”
Also, for Richard Shuster PsyD, a clinical psychologist, the color blue is helpful in calming our minds. He stated that “Staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state.” Mandell and Shuster’s statements show the differing meanings of colors.
Color perception primarily hinges on how an individual resonates with what they see and how the nostalgia of the hues make their mind react or interact. Aside from the examples provided above, what are the other usual colors that people respond to?
- Black – usually associated with mourning or death. Black is a color that represents a foreboding incident or a menacing symbol, and is also indicative of evil in some cases, mostly portrayed in pop culture or the cinemas. Black is commonly known as the opposite of white, which symbolizes negative energy.
- White – the opposite of black, which mainly represents positive energy. White is the universal symbol of peace and purity. In psychiatry, white is the preferred color in facilities so as not to provoke irrational feelings from admitted patients. White can also mean cleanliness and freshness. Designers often choose white backdrops to complement any highlight or color, even making the room seem spacious.
- Green–commonly associated with nature, green is a fresh color that represents good health, luck, and emotional tranquility. Science has suggested that green has a soothing and relaxing effect to the eyes, which is why when the eyes are strained, looking at something green is a common suggestion. Green is said to help people heal and relieve stress, and designers usually use this color to paint bedrooms and living rooms.
- Pink –being linked to femininity, romance, and love, pink, for some people, has a calming effect. Research has indicated that pink tends to have a particular impact on inmates or prisoners but then was soon found out that the soothing results are temporary and the reactions became more of agitation as they were exposed longer. Pink is also the color for qualities like compassion, softness, nurturing, and kindness.A consultant educational psychologist, Ingrid Collins, L.P., said that humans’ energy can be affected by chromatherapy also known as color therapy. She noted: “We are therefore at the most fundamental level made of energy and information, so when we add a particular colour we are adding energy into our lives.” Collins’ observation manifests the importance of color in humans’ everyday lives.
- Yellow–the first thing that would come to mind would be the color of the sun. Yellow is a bright color that often depicts warmth and cheerfulness, although due to its bright characteristic, this color can also cause eyestrain. Yellow can influence feelings of anger and frustration for some people. Due to its vibrancy, yellow can quickly capture the eyes, and for this reason, it’s the color used for advertisements or traffic signals.
Color Is Influential
What we see around us affects us differently; color plays a very significant part of what we do and how we feel. Depending on what the shade means to a person, it can convey powerful information, clout people’s decision, and create feelings and moods.
Counseling With Creativity: For Traumatic Wounds That Cannot Heal
October 4, 2019
There’s something about art therapy that soothes the mind and calms the soul, creating a serene, safe space where people can freely express painful recollections that made significant changes in their lives.
Expression of creativity engages a specific part of the brain that allows processing of traumatic experiences in a different light. Even the most nightmarish incidences are conveyed and tackled without judgment coupled with the panicky, anxious reactions. No wonder counseling services for post-traumatic stress disorder patients have been suggesting art therapy because the method deals with repressed, traumatic memories that people usually have a hard time dealing with, leading to potential recovery and healing.
The Nature Of PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a kind of mental health condition that, according to statistics, is a widespread phenomenon which can be experienced by everyone.
“PTSD comes from some type of traumatic event,” explained Colleen Cira, PsyD, a psychologist who specializes in women and trauma. “It can include things like war, car accidents, rape, physical assault, or even verbal and emotional abuse.
Six out of ten men, or about 60% of the US population, have experienced a traumatic episode in their lives mostly due to combat, accidents, injury, death, disaster, and physical assault. On the other hand, five out of 10 women, or 50% of the American population, have experienced trauma that is more likely due to physical and sexual abuse.
The point is PTSD is a common occurrence that can be experienced by all genders at any given age. However, trauma is not a sign that a person is weak; it’s just proof that there are situations and bodily reactions that people cannot control and have to be addressed the soonest possible time before the disorder takes over their lives.
The Healing Effects Of Creativity
Although there are various forms of counseling techniques that can help ease up the nightmares that keep people with PTSD awake at night, art therapy is a highly popular suggestion in the therapeutic field for particular reasons.
Art Breaks Unspeakable Bounds
A usual occurrence for people who have PTSD is inability or hesitancy to discuss the incident verbally, even during sessions with a therapist. Repressing emotions and thoughts are one of the main reasons why this occurs. Expressive arts therapy achieves more output than other treatments when dealing with PTSD patients because here, much transition can be obtained even if words are not spoken. Creativity is the medium that serves as a bridge between the traumatized person and the therapist by allowing restrained emotions to resurface, be explored, and resolved in a non-confronting, comforting manner.
Joshua Smyth, PhD, wrote, “The creative therapies, including art, music, drama, and bodyoriented approaches, are a diverse set of techniques that hold in common that thoughts and feelings about a trauma are represented without verbal descriptions of the event(s). Visual and auditory stimuli are used to symbolize the pain and suffering that result from trauma (such as fear, horror, loneliness, and distrust), and the process of expressing oneself is often more important than the finished product.”
Each technique is carefully selected, depending on the severity of the situation that the person has been through. While people may not hear what the person wants to say, their bottled-up emotions are ingrained in the artwork that they do, which probably provides more insight on what’s going on inside a person than just speaking with a therapist.
Art Explores The Unexplored
“Finding the words to express trauma is a common challenge for trauma survivors. Creative arts therapies can bridge the shattered memory or painful emotion, and a cognitive-linguistic expression of the traumatic experience,” said Marni Rosen, PsyD, a trauma therapist at the Post Traumatic Stress Center (PTSC) in New Haven, Connecticut.
An unconscious mind is a mysterious place; it’s the part of the brain that is usually unexplored but holds in secrets, disturbing events, and painful memories that people lock away. One of the coping mechanisms that the brain does when people have experienced trauma is to send those thoughts and emotions into the unconscious to make life more bearable for those who have PTSD. This occurrence is often manifested by people who claim to have no reminiscence of unpleasant events that happened in the past.
Art therapists believe that counseling my means of creative expression taps into the person’s unconscious memories and thoughts, resurfacing them, so that individuals with PTSD can deal with them, ultimately expunging them from their minds, and being healed in the process.