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Squish. To some, the idea of something squishing is triggering and abhorrent. Squishiness conjures images and ideas of softness and moistness, which don’t always sit well with some. For others, the idea of something going squish is exciting, titillating, and even nostalgic. Messiness is associated with squish. Playtime is associated with squish. Unadulterated exploration, fun, and freedom from the inhibition of rules and expectations are associated with squish. For this reason, using ceramics and pottery as forms of art therapy are especially healing in those with wounded hearts. When those recovering from trauma and related issues can squish they can connect to themselves, to happiness, to the earth, and to a different state of being where there is peace and happiness in the present.

Clay is smooth. Clay is wet. Clay is dry. Clay can be crumbly. Clay, more importantly, can be molded. Working with clay is a metaphorical experiment in working with life. Life is messy. Life can be smooth. Life is rarely perfect. As life sometimes seems to fall apart, life can also be built back up. Perhaps not identical to the way life was before, life can be created into something new, the remnants of old serving as a foundation for a different path. Working with, shaping, molding, painting, and even firing clay is a therapeutic adventure in trauma treatment, one that has been scientifically backed for efficacy.

One of the few studies ever produced on the specific use of clay as art therapy was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. Looking at the how adults with major depressive disorder benefitted from clay art therapy, the study found a positive correlation including improvements in mood, cognitive functions, and motivation. Depression as a mood disorder causes disruptive periods of sadness, helplessness, hopelessness, and lack of motivation. Many describe depression as feeling as though they are in a fog, which isn’t entirely biologically inaccurate. Cognitive functions like decision-making are often impaired due to depression.

Depression is commonly co-occurring with symptoms of trauma and full diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder. Additionally, depression can be a symptom of PTSD and living with untreated trauma. Art therapy offers those recovering from trauma and depression a creative outlet for connecting with their minds, their bodies, and an external medium for expression. Finding a way to communicate thoughts and feelings which are difficult to articulate make art therapy forms a priceless modality for healing.

The Guest House in Ocala Florida believes that sharing the darkness in a sanctuary of love and compassion is the birthplace of transformation and recovery. Call us today for information on our residential treatment programs for trauma, addictions, and other related issues: 1-855-483-7800