This 24 year old client struggled to understand why she felt so confused and insecure in her current relationship. She was asked to create a drawing representing this experience. The client processed the drawing with her therapist, realizing she walked into and opened herself up to (drawing of door) a man that was unapproachable, inconsistent and emotionally unreachable, represented by the barb wires. The chaotic red image (boyfriend) reveals why the client has been feeling rejected and unstable. In retrospect, the client noticed there had been few positive interactions (shown by the tiny sun). Through ongoing art therapy, the client identified important relationship patterns that were holding her back, she developed self-respect, healthy boundaries and confidence, and is now able to keep negative influences from interfering with her life. Art therapy made it easier for her to "see" reality for what it was and let go when she was ready.
"What I love about art therapy is it opens up the unconscious mind. It allows you to explore emotions, thoughts and feelings that you were not even aware you had and helps you to understand yourself on a deeper level. The combination of talking and exploring your art allows you to understand how your feeling, in a way that talking alone, cant do. For me, art therapy is the best form of therapy".
This teenage client created a Chinese Fortune Teller as a tool to cope with depression, anxiety and self-esteem issues. When she opens it, the fortune teller reveals positive affirmations related to her specific problem areas.
"Art Therapy was a great way for me to overcome many challenges. This was due to the fact I could express myself through my artwork. The art created by a person can have many meanings that one would not normally notice or comprehend. Through art therapy, my therapist helped me sort through many emotions I was very conflicted with. Over the years, I realized that my treatment was not just about making art. Sharing your creation, whether you like what you produced or not, with someone who understands and provides a friendly environment, is really beneficial and powerful. For me, it relieved stress, anxiety, severe depression and it improved my social skills. The changes that my family, friends and I have seen in myself are unbelievable. I went from being a timid and shy teenager hiding behind my hair who used to self-injure to a confident young lady, who is no longer afraid to assert herself, ready to start college. I am so glad I gave art therapy a chance, especially after trying many other therapists that couldn't help me. I would highly recommend it to anyone".
This 40 year old client created a large puppet made of various collage materials. The puppet is an abstract self-portrait and homage of her courage and personal strengths.