Art as Healing – Part 1 of 3

In times of crisis and challenge, there are many different ways to cope. I think everyone has their own way of doing so. I wanted to blog about what I found helpful for me.

 First, I must state for the record, “I. AM. NOT. A. THERAPIST”  I am one artist, that found a particular way to help me and I hope that it might be helpful to someone else, which is why I’m sharing it.

 As an artist,  I’m drawn to creating art for a variety of reasons. I do it to learn new techniques, to create a visual collection of dreams, narratives or to build and share with a community.  It is my form of self-reflection and self-expression. Art and art-making touches me deeply, meaningfully and lets me connect my inner world to my outer world.  I find it to be an incredible source of healing for me and I have turned to it often.

I explored art as a healing practice and I used it to help me deal with grief and depression in a great time of need!

There are times in our lives we are faced with situations beyond our control. it may be we are victims of a crime, or have witnessed something terrible or we have suffered the loss of loved ones, or coming back from active combat duty. These are things that we may all face in one form or another and no matter how much we think we can prepare for it; we really can’t.  Any or all of these emotional situations can scar us deeply and if we are not careful, permanently.

I faced this kind of deep pain in the last year when I lost, my mother, sister and aunt to cancer. This happened only months after my father-in-law lost his fight to cancer; that was (4) major losses in a year! It broke my heart in ways, I didn’t know I had, until it was broken.  It was the beginning of an ongoing journey.

Next week…Part Two…

  1. That is a profound series of losses. My heart is with you and l look forward to your next post!

    Comment by Tammy — November 5, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

  2. Indigene, that are too many loses and really far too many in one year. I feel so sorry for you. I can't even start to imagine how that would effect me. But I can imagine how making art is helpful.
    There is an Art & Therapy group on LinkedIn. I'm not a member of it, but I did view some discussions and liked the contributions there. It isn't for therapists only. I'm sure your insights and contributions will be appreciated there too.
    Big hug from Paula

    Comment by Mindful Drawing — November 6, 2012 @ 4:40 am

  3. Thanks so much, Paula, I will check them out. Your kindness means a lot! :)

    Comment by indigene1 — November 6, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

  4. I'm so sorry for all your loss, that is just to much to handel for anyone. I'm so glad you have Art to help you though it all. I use Art as therapy, when I'm having a hard time I go into my workroom and start painting, that always make me feel better!

    Comment by Mette H. Gabrielsen — November 7, 2012 @ 6:49 am

  5. Oh, Indigene. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and process. What an incredibly painful year you endured. Your heart must have been profoundly heavy, and I am glad to hear that art has helped you heal a little. Your encouragement here is taken to heart. I am going through a lot of anxiety at the moment and I think letting it out in a private space may be just what I need. I will start an art journal this week. No more putting it off. Thank you.

    Hope you have a splendid and loving Thanksgiving.

    Comment by bella sinclair — November 19, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

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