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Drawing on Your Inner Therapist: Art Therapy in Everyday Life

Friday, September 17th, 2010

When was the last time you picked up some coloured pencils? Or crayons? Or filled a page with random scribbles?

It’s curious how we encourage this kind of spontaneous creative expression in children, but often forget to indulge in it ourselves.

Maybe it doesn’t feel ‘serious’ enough for an adult to engage with. Or ‘weighty’ enough to mix it with the depths of adult problems. But creativity can unleash serious business indeed.

For while words and ‘talking therapies’ can often help us define and cope with the problems in our lives, they’re not the only way.

Just as there are supposedly three kinds of knowledge, maybe there are also several ways of knowing the self

One of these is experiential knowledge of self, which can sometimes leave words – both spoken and written – far, far behind. And perhaps experiences and thoughts can’t always be easily translated into words in the first place. Perhaps, as the poet Kahlil Gibran noted, “thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly”.

So how might you help your thoughts escape the world of words – in your mind, your mouth or your journal – and let them fly wherever they’re drawn to?

Therapist Within

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