I have been attending art therapy classes for two weeks now, and I can safely say that the experience is far from boring. Why did I attend these classes? Well, to be honest, I am at a point in my life where I am faced with some hurdles to overcome. However, I am not one to dwell on my problems . Instead, I just try to occupy myself with productive activities that get my mind off the issues bothering me . I figure that if one fills their time , it will hit them in the least expected of moments that they forgot what the problem was. I didn’t get to that point yet, but sooner or later I will.
Let me get back to the issue of Art Therapy, well I strongly believe that no session on any topic is useless and no event leaves you with nothing new to learn. It was with this mentality that I attended my first Art Therapy session last Friday.
I did not go into that session hoping to find a solution to all riddles affecting our existence, nor did I expect that I will be miraculously healed. In fact, I went just to see what Art Therapy is about. I’m interested in art and I am interested in therapy, so I figured that putting the two together could not be bad.
Arriving to the studio fashionably late, I walked in to find a group of people sitting on the floor in a circle with the instructor. Each of them had two big sheets of paper with them and in the middle of the circle they had a pool of colored pencils, markers, and paints to share. I took off my shoes as instructed and I found an empty spot to sit in. I introduced myself and then the session began.
The instructor asked us to list all our problems on a sheet of paper. It was then that I realized that I do have a lot of problems, some of which are mere pet peeves. I kept writing and writing and my list got longer and longer. I looked up later only to find that everyone else had finished their lists long before me. We were then asked to rate our problems on a scale of one to ten. Personally, I wanted to rate all my problems as tens, but I figured that was too much. So, I chose one personal issue as my highest ranking problem. Between professional and personal problems, I think personal problems take higher rank. After all, work is only work. It isn’t who you are .
The instructor then told us to draw what our problem looked like to us. So, I started scribbling on the paper only to realize that I had , in fact, created a decent representation of my problem. My problem appeared to look like pure chaos, which is accurate in my opinion. After all, most problems do lead to chaos.
We were then asked to draw what our life looked like before the problem occurred. As I remembered a more colorful life, I found myself drawing happy colors and happy shapes in mountain-like figures. From there, we moved on to draw what our life looked like on the day of the problem, one month after the problem, one year after the problem, how people saw us, how we saw people with the same problem and our life after we have overcome the problem respectively. What was extremely interesting about all this was that I found myself forced to give my problem a shape and color and representation I could identify, and honestly I found that this enabled me to put things into perspective. I may not have solved my problem yet, but at least now when I think of it, I think of it as something easy to define . My problem now has clear boundaries and that is a start.
On the following week, we were asked to define ourselves as a dish of food. I ended up drawing a steak, two eggs, veggies, gravy sauce, a glass of juice, and cake. Well, I just started drawing and this is what came out. Maybe , in my subconscious mind, I was just thinking of food I like. My instructor says that my dish showed my willingness to give others support. Which, I can’t say is wrong. My life is all about supporting others.
Finally, we drew all the natural elements affecting our body, and that too was an interesting experience. It revealed to me, after analysis that I may be someone who hides emotions. That may be true, I think the forest in the chest area shows it all .
All in all, the class does seem intriguing to me. It leaves you with food for thought and that is indeed a start. I do wonder what we will be doing next week.
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Photos are taken by Chi Center