If you love nature, need a relaxing distraction or want to reconnect with that inner-child then utilising Art Therapy methods in your Psychotherapy sessions or in your self-development free time may benefit you. Our instinctual being longs to create, make and assemble. Many people believe that emotional and physical ailments may be the result of our ever increasing exposure to artificial environments and activities. As we are not naturally designed to be in these places or do these things the body responds in less favourable ways. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that all health problems are caused because of unnatural environments or activities.
Methods of Art Therapy include painting, drawing, collage making, scrap-booking, knitting, sculpture and colouring books. Kids colouring books have been around for years but recently adult colouring in books seem to have become fashionable. Perhaps this is because they help us to withdraw from our daily concerns and worries get lost in fantasy, nature and design. Colouring in requires concentration yet is absent of the draining effect that concentrating on screens can have. It also offers an alternative to reading books for recreation. Some people don’t find reading relaxing or may not get a sense of achievement out of it, yet when they finish colouring in a picture they feel they have accomplished something.
I have used Art Therapy including use of colouring books in group settings and attendees have found it to be a very positive social experience. Whilst free to chat no one feels pressurised to do so. Vision and concentration is absorbed in the creations and one almost becomes unaware of their physical being. Group Art Therapy involves sharing ideas, learning from each other and supporting each other. It’s non-competitive and non-judgemental but can be quite thought-provoking and inspiring. I have used it at a local community venue where people feel safe and connected to the world around them. I think the advantage of arranging such an activity, rather than just promoting the activity of using colouring books is that it disciplines us to do it and gives us permission to simply indulge in an activity that some may view as time wasting.
In my Psychotherapy practise, I haven’t yet met a client that has not enjoyed or benefited in some way from using creative methods as a means of working through their problems.
By Gabriella Clarke Dip.Hyp Dip.PC Ad.Dip.PC MHS MNCS (ACC)
Psychotherapist & Life-Coach