Use of creative art in therapy

Many residents come to shelter to begin the journey of healing.  Women and children who suffer domestic abuse often carry long histories of living in fear.  Constant   fear states activate areas in the brain which contribute to stress, illness, and difficulties concentrating.  One way to engage clients in relaxation and channelling thoughts is to use Art and artistic creative activities.  Coloring, drawing, or painting may be offered as vehicles to express feelings. 

 In therapy, clients can use these creations to explain emotions, process fears and anxieties, transition between topics, and enhance self-awareness.  Art and artistic creation can be a powerful tool in developing therapeutic rapport and Art can act as a vehicle for exploring past sufferings and future hopes.  Art as therapy can happen  when the counselling and support  is directed around the client’s interpretation of the artwork.  Further artistic activity can then be encouraged to help clients to process thoughts and life events between sessions. 

In addition to these properties, artwork can be relaxing, empowering and aid in self-expression.  Mandala art is one way to use creative processes in helping survivors of trauma to begin and sustain their healing journey.

Mandala Art

Mandala Art is a powerful way to think about ones’ self, and to relax, allowing your mind to focus.  Mandalas can be used to process powerful emotions: Grief, Sorrow, Anger, Confusion, Joy, and Love.

Mandalas can be coloured in sections, from the inside outward, or in any way that soothes and pleases the artist.  Focusing on a problem or feeling while coloring a Mandala has been shown to aid in solution finding, lowering blood pressure, relaxation and clarity.

Mandalas have been long used to aid in recovering from the effects of abuse and trauma.

Creating, coloring or reflecting on a Mandala has long thought to be a way to draw the unconscious mind into awareness of what is happening with our inner self.

There is an idea that: in whatever way a Mandala is created, coloured or reflected upon, it is a representation of the process of our mind in that moment.