Writing As Art Therapy

I’ve always been pulled to writing, though I never found myself particularly original or brilliant. It was always frustrating to me, to want to write but have nothing important or original to say.  You always hear how writing for many authors is a joyous but painful thing.  It’s as if every word is wrung from their souls versus those that say they had a dream or a vision and it just flowed from their fingertips naturally.  Well, I dare say that it’s a mixed bag for anyone who writes or who creates anything at all.  Some days there are unexplained visions in your mind’s eye and other days you yearn to write and yet…nothing.

Recently I wrote an article on art therapy for publication and it was an interesting concept to me that turned into a personal aha! The art therapist I interviewed explained why this form of psychotherapy is different from other kinds of therapy.  She said “there’s this third thing.”

That piece of art or creative expression in whatever form it takes becomes the third thing in the room which relieves tension between the therapist and client and allows the latter to literally get the emotion out of his or her body.  It also allows clients an objectivity that wouldn’t otherwise exist, the art therapist explained, because it literally separated them from the problem or the emotion.   Otherwise, it just seemed too overwhelming to deal with. 

She went on further to explain that she and her clients weren’t creating art for museums so the end product itself was almost insignificant.  You see, it was the process that was the gift and brought about emotional growth and healing.  It was the process that had inherent healing power.

Aha!  So writing is my art therapy, my therapy period.  And I just need to go through the process itself even if the end result is the equivalent of a stick figure.   Aha!

So now I give myself permission to write, even if it isn’t terribly original or brilliant.  I give myself permission to indulge in art therapy, which I know in my heart and soul to be a positive, life-affirming coping mechanism.  And hey, this blog is “the third thing” for today’s art therapy session.  It may not be much, but it sure feels good to write it.

About whitcoma

I am a SCBWI member and a marketing professional currently working in the automotive industry. Previously, I worked in the home entertainment division of Starz Media writing box copy as well as advertising and social media copy for preschool properties such as Chuggington and Tickety Toc. I have been published in several newspapers, including my own art therapy column in a local paper. Recently, I lost my beloved grandfather to Alzheimer's but my daughter and I had the pleasure and the privilege of holding his hand until the very end. Out of that experience came my first picture book.
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