Art therapy is an experiential therapeutic approach that can offer healing on many different levels: socially, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and sometimes even physically.
Brookhaven Retreat’s therapies with media are used for women who are unable to express their feelings with words. They have never been allowed to or don’t know what words to use. A trained art therapist will create different interventions based on a woman’s individual needs to help her express with art what she cannot say in traditional talk therapy.
This process can be more effective than traditional talk therapy because it allows women to indirectly confront themselves through imagery. It is much easier for women to talk about an image as it relates to them than to have a direct conversation about themselves. The artwork becomes an extension or mirror of a woman that she can reflect upon and consider in new ways.
Artistic activity engages different parts of the brain. It has the ability to summon images from the unconscious – dreams, fears, thoughts, feelings and desires that have been hidden away from our conscious selves.
Sometimes, women are so involved in their inner turmoil that it becomes difficult to let go. Drawing, painting or sculpting can be very telling. The imagery that evolves reveals ideas that relate to a woman’s personal story. Art brings hidden ideas to the surface and encourages self-discovery.
The artistic process can be very emotional. The images that appear may be intense, perhaps even shocking. This is why it is important to work with a trained art therapist or other professional who is able to help women process these concepts.
Brookhaven Retreat’s weekly art therapy sessions help women express themselves, self-discover and maintain wellness while using art as a creative expression of thoughts and feelings. It complements Brookhaven Retreat’s DBT curriculum by providing a space to practice such skills as non-judgment and emotion regulation.
Art therapy is an aspect of comprehensive treatment that involves the whole being to process thoughts, emotions and experiences that may otherwise remain buried, and ultimately helps women along the path to becoming emotionally healthy and whole.