Getting a client to consider therapy isn’t always easy. It may cause more anxiety; they may feel there’s a stigma around it — they may simply be too proud to go to a therapy session. What about broaching the topic from a new angle?
A way that would make the therapy seem positive, fun, intriguing even? What if there was a way you could pique the patient’s interest in taking it up? Well, have you considered Art Therapy? It could be just the ticket.
Let’s get this out of the way first though, you DON’T need to be an artist to take up Art Therapy. Nor is it an art class. Art therapy gives clients a channel in which they can express their emotions and feelings. It can be a fantastic outlet for clients who may not want or be ready to pour out all their feelings and emotions through talking. It can help clients suffering from a variety of conditions, be it trauma, anxiety, stress, or learning disorders, to name but a few.
It’s been found that Art Therapy allows clients to unlock and discover emotions and depths that they might never have (or be able to) in regular talk therapy. Rather than suppress emotions, Art Therapy allows darker feelings and worries to be released in a way that can’t harm anyone, freeing up the client’s mind. This is also a welcome alternative to prescribing medication which can have problematic side effects for the client. It’s safe, and, unlike medication, there should be no withdrawal effects should the client stop for whatever reason.
Art therapy can provide the client with an effective coping method too. Perhaps your patient is suffering from ongoing stress, maybe work-related. By introducing them to Art Therapy, you’re providing them with an outlet that lets them release that stress and (sometimes subconsciously) unlock suppressed emotions and anxieties in a safe, fun way. Creating something gives us all a great sense of achievement, and Art Therapy provides the patient with a tangible way of doing this.
Intrigued now? I’ll link some examples below, and if you’ve any questions about how it all works, or are looking for other non-medication alternatives that doctors can offer their patients, don’t be afraid to drop me a message.
The goal of this activity is to use art materials to express oneself without thinking about it.
MATERIALS: MAKE USE OF ANY MATERIALS YOU CAN FIND.
Create whatever you want with no limitations. This means you shouldn’t be concerned about the end result. Make a mess (you might want to put on some old clothes). This is about giving you the freedom to express yourself in whatever way you want through art. Let me know your thoughts on this exercise.