Art good therapy for busy bodies
YOU are exhausted, run ragged. Worries beset you and there is never enough time in the day to cram in all the things that need doing.
You lurch from job to job, balancing needs of children, partners, friends and colleagues.
But what about you? You know that you will cope better and enjoy your precious life and family if you could just have a break and some time to yourself.
Enter art therapy. Professional training in art therapy in Australia is a one or two year full time postgraduate course offered by three universities.
Course entry prerequisites are generally undergraduate qualifications in medicine, fine art, social work or psychology.
The result of this exacting professional qualification is that most therapists work in the controlled environments of hospitals and clinics.
But art itself can be a wonderful therapy and experience for everyone, not just for those who are mentally ill.
Whether you are looking for an intellectual interest, skills training or an outlet for your creative spirit, art in its many forms lies dormant within you, just waiting to be awoken.
Almost all children that I have known (and I have taught hundreds) have a sense of play, of curiosity, a delight in experimentation and a lack of self-criticism.
However, as they grow older it often happens that they lose confidence, feel inadequate and suppress their wonderful ideas, born of a free soul and unfettered imagination.
If this sounds rather like you, take heart. It is possible, through structured play and “letting go” strategies, to transcend everyday, banal routines and rediscover that small, creative child who has been with you all along.
The principles that I use when presenting my “creative development” or “play group” workshops are more effective in a group situation, as the individual is carried along by the momentum of others, thus losing that self-consciousness that can be so inhibiting and restrictive.
But you can still benefit from trying some of these ideas by yourself - the aim is to get out of your usual comfort zone and try something different.
By introducing a series of very fast and varied activities, such as working with clay with eyes closed, dancing to salsa music, hugging trees, drawing upside down, painting the space around an object etc, some confusion and “overload” results, whereby creative energies are given space in which to grow and thrive.
You do not need to show others what you have been doing, so you are not setting yourself up for criticism, however well-meaning that may be. From these tentative beginnings you will grow in confidence and enjoy every moment of giving freedom to that child within.
If you live in Mossman or Port Douglas you are very fortunate, through DAB and Arthouse, to have access to very inexpensive art classes, courtesy of Arts Queensland and Cairns Regional Council.
In October Go Troppo Arts Festival is offering a wide variety of arts workshops for your enjoyment. They all aim to develop creativity as well as skills and all are sure to be enjoyable. Visit www.go-troppo-artsfestival.com/description-ofworkshops.html
Get busy: art is great therapy