Creative Healing using art therapy

I joined a session conducted by my friend Ari, an Art Therapist, in collaboration with Kita Berkisah on Creative Healing Using Art Therapy. It was a bold decision for myself since I have almost never wanted to join any kind of workshops simply because I don’t feel that I need any. But then, isn’t that also an issue? Not wanting to learn and explore?

The title interests me a lot especially the word ‘healing’. How broken am I that I am attracted with such word? What kind of healing am I looking for? And most importantly, healing from what? All the vagueness and questions run into my head as I am looking for the reason to join this session and ended up decided, to just do it without questioning.

It started with Ari explaining about Art Therapy and why is it important to take good care of your mental health with art. I enjoy the information about steps in doing art activities as a therapy:

  • Regulate/ making art, where we open to all possibilities and try to be aware of all the sensations in the making
  • Relate with our personal life, where we pay attention on what is emerge in our mind and ask ourselves, “what does this remind us to?”
  • Reflect, where we create meaning from the previous activities through ‘Aesthetic Analysis’, formulated by Knill (2005)

The first step of the workshop is to be aware with our breath through several strokes. Creating circles that match with a set of inhale and exhale. I noticed that my circle is pretty big due to deep breath that I practice and try to implement in my daily life.

The second steps of the workshop was to listen to 2 low-fi songs and reflect, what memories does the song reminds us with? The first one reminded me with my childhood vacation house in Sawangan with lots of farm animals. I had one of the best memories there and it’s something that I’m blessed with. The second song reminded me of a memories in Bali around 4-5 years ago where I was there with my friends and we had a good time together exploring the island and its vibrant mix with serene environment.

This one came out when we were asked to pour our mind and after around 20 minutes, we did the Aesthetic Analysis.

All the elements there reminds me of how everything is abstract but trying to be cohesive, in which I felt it represented the content of my head. It was also interesting when I always produce abstract thing when it comes to expressing my mind or my feeling or a certain memories/ situation. It is never be a scene or an object. I wonder why. Maybe because I describe a feeling rather than an occasion? I felt that this artwork is somewhat rich with emotions. Ups and down blended together, happy and sad, as what life is all about.

If this picture can tell me something, it says, “Elfitra, in vagueness, don’t let your light dim.”

This is my first time doing this kind of workshop. A guided version in expressing what’s inside of me and also a baby step in understanding myself. I am not sure yet how will this help me heal, even not sure whether I need to be healed. But one thing I know for sure that expressing the emotions creatively through art or whatever creative output that we do, is one therapeutic activities. You don’t need to be an artist to creatively express it nor to questions a lot in the process. You need to let it go and embrace the fact that, through art, nothing is right or wrong.

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