Sketching from the heart!

I just created another sketch in my book. And, now I am feeling great!

I used to have some really bad anxiety. We moved to another state (another school) when I was a senior in high school. My emotions ran from anger to fear and sadness. I avoided everyone and completely shut myself off. I could not verbally express my true feelings with anyone, not even my parents.

I always enjoyed art and even in a new environment it became my comfort zone. Through drawing, painting and sculpting I was able to tap into my emotions. I didn’t recognize it at the time but it was helping me understand myself better.

Now when I’m feeling out of sorts I open up my sketchbook and draw from within. My sketches are almost always abstract in nature. I don’t always know exactly what I see in them but I feel what my heart is telling me. Often my emotional turmoil has some resolve.

Sketch book drawing
A recent sketch form my sketchbook

So I got to thinking. Is what I’m doing a form of art therapy? I’m not an art therapist, but I do know the value in being creative and accessing that part of the brain. So I decided to research it.

I have found Art Therapy to be a growing psychotherapeutic area. Licensed therapists and counselors are using different art forms to help clients overcome anxiety, depression, and trauma.

For those interested in learning more about Art therapy, visit the American Art Therapy Association. They just finished celebrating 50th anniversary (#AATA50TH). There you will find useful links to licensed programs and local chapters. You can read and watch inspirational testimonials and more.

Here is a video from the American Art Therapy Association website

The Art Therapy Profession An Overview

The AATA website also features Board Certified Art therapists. One of them is Carolyn Mehlomakulu, LMFT-S, ATR-BC and I like the way she defines “what is Art Therapy” on her website creativityintherapy.com

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