HealthBoards (
-   Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (
-   -   Has anyone here tryed art therapy? (

Breezzie 03-11-2017 10:15 AM

Has anyone here tryed art therapy?
Hi, I'm new to your board and thankful I found you. I was diagnosed with ptsd over a year ago. My therapy had been going well but then my therapist had to be transfered. I just can't bear(sp?) the idea of having to start from the begining, tell my story all over again, to a new person. Lately I've been considering art therapy. Does anyone here have any thoughts on or experience with this? I'd be most grateful for your input, thanks.

Tru3 04-11-2017 07:28 PM

Re: Has anyone here tryed art therapy?
Hello! I am new here as well. I read your post and thought I would engage. Yes, I have been through art therapy, and I it has been necessary to revisit my story on multiple times to multiple therapists, psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, doctors, social workers, and other medical personal and professionals. I have 22 years experience in the behavioral health community and suffered from complex trauma. Having been diagnosed with severe PTSD 22 years ago I have been part of many therapeutic programs. To this day, I still utilize art therapy!

yayagirl 06-03-2017 10:31 AM

Re: Has anyone here tryed art therapy?
Dearest Breezzie,

I can so relate about therapy and self-image issues. Therapists have no power over our minds. They can only reflect what we share, so in reality to use art as therapy we don't need a therapist to validate what we express. The expression by itself is the validation. We can use our own minds to physically express ourselves through art. Maybe to us it might look ugly in the beginning. But along the way you will begin to express acceptance and see that show in your art.

I grew up with self-destructive severe PTSD from having suffered terrible abuse as a child, not 'wanted' by my mother who had thought her child-bearing years were over. Out of her rage she did may things to try to destroy me, not realizing how destructive she was. I learned it was not safe to 'exist', so I existed totally in my own head and grew up feeling very isolated even in a large family. The isolation of not feeling like a real person to others made me vulnerable to users and abusers. It seemed normal to me but was very confusing and isolating.

As an adult, [I]through therapy[/I] I learned that everyone experiences levels of this, even if it is not as severe as what you or I experienced, because no relationship or person is perfect. I became self-aware and learned to stand up for myself as a person. The first few times I stood up for myself were utterly terrifying, but each time I spoke up I became stronger. Really no one can resolve our inner conflicts but ourselves. We can use art to express and self-talk about our emotions. Art is a way to stand up for ourselves and show sides of ourselves. Remember, therapy and art is first for expressing yourself to yourself. To say to yourself 'this is me, I am real, and I do matter'.

How we matter to ourselves affects how we matter to others. We won't ever matter to everyone. But we can and should always matter to ourselves. One way I learned to speak up was to use art as self-expression. That is really what art is, anyway. Our art is always about us, regardless what our subject may be. I have noticed over the years that anger is not showing in my art anymore. I used to paint and draw, but with some vision loss my art now is mainly in gardening. I think of my yard as a painting and love to tear out and rearrange and create scenery with colors that suit me. Art gives us lots of self-gratification and on-lookers enjoy and can relate to it as well.

To be effective do the art as a way to impress your own brain with your own self-understanding, and use the art to let go of the rage, pain to change your own image of yourself. For example, you can get a large inexpensive sheet of pressed board and do whatever pleases you. Throw paint at it as you say "I feel so...." and you fill in the rest of that sentence. Or paint or draw scenarios you remember. Remember and consider how vulnerable you were back then and that you are not still that person of the past. Tell yourself the truth as you do your art. My therapist helped me see that I am not the same little girl that was vulnerable to abusers back when. I am an adult with choices. That empowered me. This true message can empower you as you use art to reinforce your individual power. Yes we all were vulnerable and got hurt in many ways, but we are not the same person today. Thankfully!

Therapists don't 'love' us. We have to learn to nurture and love ourselves. They are paid to direct us to mental and emotional health. They cannot make us arrive. We have to face ourselves, live with ourselves, and choose to dwell on what is good and lovely in life. When we do that we are former captives that have been set free. Yes, it's work, but it's work that therapists have no power to do. We need to do that for ourselves.

When you get started with your self-expression, would you be so kind as to encourage the rest of us by sharing what kind of art you choose to do and how it feels to do it?

You can do this!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:15 PM.