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When Words Are Not Enough: Coping Through Visual Arts

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When words are not enough to express what’s working within the human body and soul, psychoanalysis urges us to find alternative ways to express ourselves. As a psychoanalytically oriented clinican, I am often put in a position to listen to the unspoken and to find ways to put it into words. This may sound somwhat enigmatic but it is almost like telepathy of sorts – when a clinican is so attuned to a person in front of them that they can almost “read their mind.” You can imagine how exhausting this can be if done on a daily basis and that’s why not every session is a truly psychoanalytic session. Also, to be able to do that kind of work, one must take care of oneself.  What I tend to do apart from the usuals of music, gym, quality sleep and quality time with family and friends is art. I’ve always had a thing for visual and performing arts – filmmaking, painting, drawing, photopgraphy, theater, you name it. Art is one way for people to make their mark onto the world and leave a trace of themselves in history and to touch others with a piece of their individual experience and humanity.

As a way to send off the old year and welcome the new one, I wanted to share some inspirational images that can hopefully take us away from the gloomy, rainy and sad topics I have touched on in the past few months, and help us take a look at a more hopeful, bright and inspiring future. In a world that is full of pain and suffering, we need to access that part of humanity that speaks of and points to THE BEAUTIFUL. Not everything is roses and unicorns but it sure feels great, when we can find beauty and bliss in an ocean full of tears. That is why I do what I do. I wish you a happy and pink New Year 2019!


When Words Are Not Enough: Coping Through Visual Arts

Mihaela Bernard, MA, LCPC

Mihaela Bernard, MA, LCPC is a licensed clinical professional counselor and founder of Inside Family Counseling, LLC in Chicago. She is a Professional Member of the American Counseling Association and a member of Chicago Psychoanalytic Circle of the Freudian School of Quebec, Canada. She is the author of Mental Health Digest electronic magazine, your free, easy-to-read electronic resource on common mental health issues affecting you and your family, plus some suggestions on how to address them. She specializes in psychoanalytic psychotherapy for troubled children and adolescents, who face behavioral and emotional challenges at home and at school. Her mission is to empower, support and guide children, adolescents and their parents to a happy and healthy family. Mihaela also writes a Parenting Blog, where parents find helpful resources and practical tips on how to support their child and adolescent's behavioral and emotional development. You may find out more about her at

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APA Reference
, . (2018). When Words Are Not Enough: Coping Through Visual Arts. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 31 Dec 2018
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