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Art can sometimes have the reputation of being strict or stuffy. You may think of art as traditional Renaissance paintings or gold-framed portraits of royalty, meant to be admired from afar in museums; or perhaps as an activity for the creatively gifted who can make masterpieces out of any materials. But art is meant to be an interactive process, an exchange between the artists and their audience. Art is about conveying a moment, a feeling or an idea in a way that speaks to you and within which others can find their own meaning. Art does not need to be aesthetically pleasing or traditionally beautiful; in fact, it can sometimes be deliberately the opposite. Anyone can engage with, create or interpret art — as long as your experience with art makes you think or feel something out of the ordinary, you have successfully participated in the process of art.

Art in healing, or simply art therapy, takes advantage of the limitless possibilities of art. Through experimenting with materials, colors, textures and formats, art therapy provides a blank canvas on which participants can express themselves in any way they find helpful. Art therapy allows clients to share stories or thoughts that they may struggle to put into words, giving them an outlet for the emotions involved in experiences influenced by trauma, addiction or mental health disorders. Art therapy also provides a sense of accomplishment and a final product that can be saved, displayed, revisited or discussed as a part of longer-term therapy goals.

Art Therapy for Trauma and Mental Health Disorders

Countless complex feelings come with trauma and mental health disorders, ranging from fear, grief and self-doubt to hope, determination and gratitude. These thoughts need an outlet to prevent you from feeling stressed, anxious or burned out; keeping this rollercoaster of emotions pent up inside your mind is not good for you, mentally or physically. But productive processing and coping mechanisms can take time and effort to learn. It can be easy to turn to bad habits that temporarily make you feel calmer or in control, but over time they will take a toll on your health. Therapies like art in healing can be noticeably effective in treating trauma and mental health disorders because participants are given a healthy way to express and let go of the emotional weights that they carry inside themselves.

In many cases, those who struggle with mental health disorders or have had traumatic or distressing experiences can be afraid of talking about or sharing what they have been through. For some, reliving the moment is too painful. For others, the fear of judgment keeps them from opening up. But art in healing helps creates a space where an ugly or negative experience can become beautiful, or where words are not necessary to let others know how you feel.

Art Therapy at The Guest House

The Guest House Ocala emphasizes the individual strengths and needs of those who enter our programs, providing treatments like art in healing to allow the unique expression of each guest’s story. We encourage our clients to participate in art therapy even if they do not think of themselves as creatively talented; the act of making art can be deeply cathartic, and finishing an art piece leaves a sense of pride, accomplishment and satisfaction. For those who are artistically inclined, art therapy can be the perfect way to nurture a talent and establish a healthy hobby to keep beyond your recovery with us.

Like all of our therapeutic modalities, our art in healing program is guided by an expert clinical therapist — our staff includes counselors with specialized training in art therapy to ensure a fulfilling experience. During your art therapy sessions, your therapist ensures that your experience is both creatively and mentally stimulating, providing you with the materials you need while encouraging you to thoughtfully share your process as you create. The goal of art therapy at The Guest House is to give you the freedom to creatively and constructively express yourself and your story. Alongside art therapy, we offer a range of treatment programs to ensure you can find therapies that work with your needs and experiences. Some of our other therapy options include:

  • Conscious connected breathwork
  • Neuroimaging
  • Equine therapy
  • Somatic therapy
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Individual and group therapy

At The Guest House Ocala, we pride ourselves on providing top-tier amenities and services that prioritize your comfort and sense of safety, including an in-house chef, housekeeping and full-time clinical staff. When you enter our program, our home becomes your home — we are a community of love, respect and acceptance where you can relax and focus on your recovery.