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How Can Art Therapy Help Me Heal From Trauma?

Each person heals from trauma differently, and you are already a step closer to healing from trauma in recovery. You are now in a place of exploring different areas within your life that can grow and change. Art therapy can provide a safe space to start your healing journey.

This form of therapy allows for a non-verbal telling of your story. Art therapy can make you feel safe and secure while working through traumatic events that have occurred in your life. This form of therapy uses the creativity within you to express yourself through colors, drawings, paintings, pottery, and anything else that your mind views art as. You are the creator of the art. There is no right or wrong because it is uniquely yours.

Through creative expression, you are in control of your voice. You are the author and have power even when the words will not flow on paper. Talking out loud about traumatic experiences can be overwhelming. You may experience physical manifestations such as sweating, stuttering, or even crying. At times, your body can even react to stored emotions. However, art therapy can help you find healing.

What Is Art Therapy?

Art is everywhere. No matter where you look, it presents itself. Art is in the trees and the way that the wind blows. It is within the sunsets and moon rises. Anywhere you can see, art can be found there.

Art therapy is the practice of using art as an expression of self-exploration to explore healing and understanding. You do not have to be an artist to participate. All you need is an open mind and a willing attitude in the presence of a qualified art therapist.

What Is Trauma?

Trauma is the experience of an event in your life that causes a severe emotional reaction. A traumatized person can feel an array of emotions after the event or for years after the event. Trauma can cause physical, mental, and emotional reactions.

A person who experienced trauma may have difficulty expressing their emotions or struggle with relationships. For example, a trauma response could be an emotional outburst or withholding emotions. When a traumatic event occurs, you must seek help through a trained professional to prevent mental health issues from occurring.

Benefits of Art Therapy

Like other forms of therapy, art can help explore emotions you have yet to uncover. You may have had trouble expressing your feelings and thoughts in the past. However, art therapy can help you discover what you are feeling.

The act of creating is a powerful tool no matter where you are in your journey. This can be beneficial in creating self-awareness, improving self-esteem, and healing from your trauma.

When you create art, you focus on what you are creating, and doing so decreases stress. For example, you had a rough day at work and took a few minutes to draw circles. Something so simple can have an intense effect on decreasing stress. In this example, you focused on something other than your emotions, which decreased your stress.

Another benefit is that you can do art therapy online or in person. If you participate online, you can utilize anything that you have nearby. If you choose in person, you will be provided with materials. Whatever you choose, you will grow by participating in art therapy.

Relaxing With Art

The most important space that you can give yourself is the space to relax. One of the main resistances to art therapy is that people think they have to be artists. However, this is simply not the case. There is no pressure to be anything than what you are to benefit from art therapy.

Art therapy helps you to relax and focus on the present moment. When engaging in something as simple as coloring, stress levels decrease. You are relaxed as your mind is focused on the action. Your mind is focused on your artistic expression, allowing you to process and release your emotions.

Stress Relief Through Art

One way you can reduce stress is to keep a journal of your art. Your journal can be whatever you want it to be. You can choose to use vibrant colors or just a pencil. This is your space and your creativity. You are the author of what this looks like.

For example, you can keep a dream journal. This can help you identify patterns within your dreams or how you feel when you wake up. Again, no need to have artistic ability as this is for only you.

Second, listing the things that you are grateful for daily can reduce stress in your life. Centering your thoughts around the areas of gratitude within your life can reduce stress and anxiety. This allows you to focus on the moment and decrease stress.

Lastly, start coloring. You have seen adult coloring books and the beautiful pictures that can be created. You don’t need artistic ability to enjoy coloring. All you need are some coloring utensils and motivation. By coloring, you are on your way to decreasing stress and increasing relaxation.

There are many ways to heal from trauma. Art therapy is a creative space where you join self-expression and trauma through art. You are in control of how much or how little you choose to share. This form of art provides a direct outlet to share difficult experiences that you have experienced. Your journey is unique, and so is the way you connect to emotions. At The Guest House, we understand that each person has their own story. We value your journey, and we provide unconditional support. We will meet you right where you are. Give us a call today at (855) 483-7800. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.