• April 25, 2019

CENTERS' PIECE: What Is Creativity and How to Use Art Expression in Therapy - Odessa American: Centers’ Piece

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CENTERS' PIECE: What Is Creativity and How to Use Art Expression in Therapy

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Posted: Monday, April 15, 2019 5:15 am

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams, Cartoonist

Creativity, no matter what form it takes: metalwork, gem cutting, glass blowing, sand art, oils, pastels, water colors, pencil, pen crayons, needlework, knitting, building a house or a dam are all forms of creativity.

Art in general provides another language and opportunity in which the creator can tell his story. Any art form allows the artist to give up control and allow the art form to take over. The artist can be more objective and feel safer during the creative process and the medium allows for the containment of overwhelming feelings. The process allows expression without words which are too scary to speak or are too painful to utter.

Any form of art offers the artist the opportunity to tolerate frustration, slow down, and refocus. Forms of art can also give the artist the ability to experience and try new concepts. Last, but not least, the creator has the opportunity to be in a teachable place to learn something new, increase self-esteem and have fun.

The finished product is done when the creator is finished with it. The product does not have to look like the Mona Lisa or the Brooklyn Bridge. It is finished when the artist deems it finished. It is his creation not someone else’s.

“Artists can color the sky red because they KNOW it is blue. Those of us who are not artists MUST color things the way they are, or people might think we are stupid.” – Jules Feiffer, Cartoonist.

A person may not pick his medium on the first try. The choice depends on how the artist hears his internal voices and feelings.

Every person will relate differently to different materials. The environment will allow the person to explore, force the creator out of his comfort zone and allow the creator to get lost in the process. The creator will learn to listen to the silence and let instinct take over and see what happens. Any art form and the diversion that it provides is a diversion from feelings. The artist should be encouraged to try something new which will not be perfect the first time, but will improve in time. This process also allows for experiencing other types of creativity. If the first modality is not yours, try another until you find your chosen field of creativity that works for you; not anyone else.

Creativity is a part of life, channel it into something positive. Give the worries and negative thoughts a rest. The act of doing the art process in whatever form it takes provides something that the person can use to destress, have productive time without worrying about technique, form, color, rules or anything. This is called “being in the moment,” and the time the creator takes is on him. Choices are on him and whatever direction the moment provides.

For all the above reasons, there is value in the use of art in every day therapy.

Odessa, TX

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