How do you suppose people seek out expressive arts to help for their mental health and family concerns?
Let’s figure that out together! Please comment below and let’s discover it!
I love the fact that expressive arts have such tremendous power. When clients create in private they get all the feel-good and affirming aspects of creating art for healing. The creation of unlisted/unshared art is an incredible teaching tool when students allow their art to be unpacked for learning. As courage to share grows, or through culminating events for the public, expressive art shares stories that allow clients and students to grow and regulate. This breaks the ice with the public, it catches attention. These completed stories contain private and sensitive issues; like faith; sex; life paths; anxiety and worry and they are universal to all people. Those who become expressive artists or journalers, song-writers, and dancers learn that they are not alone during the creation of these stories, others can access hope as well.
There are still misunderstandings and opposition about the purpose of art. Many will see it as only a performance tool. Yet, expression must continue to move to the center of questions in all forms of education and counseling. In life there are some real enemies, true competitors, that seek to distract and divert the good intentions of those with natural ability and power. Expressive art, theatre, music, and dance is for everyone. It is not to be romanticized for only a powerful few. Music, art, and movement are medicine. They are also attainable tools for everyday pedestrians to communicate with.
According to Collins (2006), the uniqueness of Christian Counseling is that “Attempts to emphasize the person, who does the healing, the techniques, or the skills that are used, and the goals.” When Expressive Arts Facilitators start with the client’s spirit, we start with the identity of God-given souls, not personal ideals. Beginning with the known and integrating it towards the unknown allows priority for the helper to keep the focus squarely on the opportunity for hope.
How do you get from understanding WHY and busting into HOW?
Questions and answers! Some of the best questions I’ve learned are from Dr. Donald Lichi in Akron, Ohio. “Do you adhere to a particular type of spiritual belief system? Is it working for you? How do you incorporate your beliefs into your daily life? Are you choosing to live consistent with your beliefs?” Let’s take it another step. “Do you like to listen to music? Does it work for you? How do you incorporate that into your daily life? Could you put together a playlist of all your songs? If you could animate that playlist with rocks what would it look like? Etc. etc. Eventually, students learn HOW to show songs. It’s time to demystify that the arts are costly and difficult to learn. Being a professional artist is a life-long dedication and generally has natural abilities that accompany it. However, being a good and effective artist is right around the corner and we need not forget that.