You’re having difficulty expressing yourself. You have a hard time talking about how you feel; the words never come out right. You used to make art but haven’t done it in years. You used to love to draw until someone told you to be more “serious” or to do something that will lead to “a real job.” You’ve been through something traumatic and you can’t seem to find the words to talk about it. You consider yourself an artist but can’t find time to create after dealing with the demands of your life and you don’t know how to change this.
If you're feeling stuck or at a loss for words, you're not alone and art therapy might be right for you. Making art and exploring the creative process can be a way for you to express yourself. Art therapy brings attention to the process of creating, rather than just the product. It uses the creative process to explore ideas, to examine the problems in your life, and to take risks. Art therapy invites you to safely approach and curiously explore new perspectives on your challenging experiences and to discover new pathways forward that tap into your strengths and innate creativity.
Maybe you’re thinking “but I’m not an artist.” Creativity comes in all forms; each of us is creative in our own ways. You do not have to consider yourself an artist to do art therapy. There is no right or wrong in art therapy. All you need is a willingness to be curious, to explore and to keep listening to your intuition--the same intuition that is telling you “there must be another way.”
Maybe you’re concerned I am going to analyze or judge your artwork. Rest assured, that is not my approach to art therapy. You are the expert on your life. This means that the meaning you find in your artwork is most important. I am here to explore your artwork with you. The process is the important part; it’s not about the quality of the end product.
Art therapy can sound intimidating to some, or childish to others. Maybe so, and I welcome it. Let’s try something intimidating together and see what happens. Let’s be childish, playful, and curious. Maybe that is the pathway to loosening your grip on the struggle you’re in with your problems. Perhaps your inner child needs some of your attention and compassion, so let’s try childish on for awhile.
I have worked with many people who initially felt hesitant about making art in therapy. When these people were willing to try something new or different, something that brought up a mix of curiosity and discomfort, they found they had a safe space to be angry, to show their sadness and confusion, to explore new ways of being and feeling. Many people also find art making to be relaxing, grounding, and centering and they begin integrating it into a daily routine, similar to journaling. People often tell me they feel able to express themselves better through their art than they’ve been able to with just words.
I am here to collaborate and get creative with you. The possibilities are endless in art therapy. One person may be drawn to painting with watercolors, another may use paper, glue and other materials to collage, while another may create a sculpture using wire and modeling clay. You're always welcome to try new forms and mediums, too!
If you’ve found any of this resonating with you please reach out to me, Mariah Hutchinson. We can connect and talk about how art therapy can help you find your path forward. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or