This painting IN MY Therapy OFFICE is personal
Along with being a therapist, I’m also a visual artist and photographer. I strongly advocate for the use of expressive modalities in coping with chronic illness and often use these modalities in my treatment plans with clients. I consider myself a creator above all else. Creators can see the big picture, inspire others and motivate action in others. I am able to visualize my art before it is created.
Creativity can help express feelings and ideas we do not know how to express with language. It can serve as an external representation of everything we love, fear, hate or desire. In one study, women used art to express how they were affected by cancer. The results showed that it helped them in 4 areas: First, it helped them focus on positive life experiences. Second, it enhanced their self-worth and identity by providing them with opportunities to show their challenges and successes. Third, it enabled them to maintain an identity that wasn’t defined by cancer. Finally, it allowed them to express their feelings in a symbolic way, especially during chemo. There are many studies that indicate using expressive visual arts as well as other art forms, have significantly positive effects on health and wellness.
This painting hangs above the couch in my office. It holds great symbolism – the color purple represents lupus and fibromyalgia awareness, the influence of nature in the healing process and the beauty of growth that my ideal clients can experience and appreciate. It took 5 hours to create this piece, but the journey it represents will last a lifetime.
It is titled ‘The Colors of My Soul’. View the video above for a condensed behind the scenes peak at how it was created.
Amanda Pratt, LCSW
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