Much about Art Therapy is out there for the masses to consume. You can get a degree in Art Therapy, as a stand alone -or in conjunction with a counseling degree or other social degree. Art Therapist- that would be a cool title to have in life and I applaud anyone who has the bravery to take on the challenge and responsibility to be any kind of therapist. I am too much of [what they say is] an empath to be a therapist.
It would be lovely to be an Art Therapist. I always wanted to go into Music Therapy. I WANTED to do this-past tense. As a musician it seemed like a good thing ,however, I was bit by the performing Live bug at a young age and did that for many years dabbling in my art pursuits all along the way.
At this station in my life, I am not so interested in a wall certificate for proof of life. I already have one of those stuffed in a drawer somewhere , used and then abused by the system. That, however, is another story and chapter of life.
Back to art being Therapeutic. How can it be anything but therapeutic! Whether painting a masterpiece or fingerprinting your way through a bad day. Something happens in your brain and then the body. It is chemical and you are keeping your brain plastic. neurons form when we learn new information. We learn and grow in a relaxed state of mind. The way we are meant to be since we are such curious creatures we can massage that muscle and we get returns with dividends. You can perform therapeutic acts for yourself everyday without knowing the intellectual, scientific term for it . You will know you did something right and spiritual for your SELF. I dare say you will FEEL it. Even through the doubts you will have made a positive move.
Whether writing or painting or making music or being a very skilled surgeon, all disciplines require an artful creative approach for forward movement-small or large. Just as a musician composes a new song or a mathematician deciphers and finds a new formula- BOTH are an ART. A creative mind willing to take that leap. Working through self doubts and inner critics. [More on the adversarial but oh so wonderful relationship with the inner critic later.]
IN order for Art to be therapeutic you must start. Anywhere. On anything. The way you want to try . Be it writing a poem, a song, a novel, or a thank you note. Be it an Art journal full of stick figures or brilliant classical plein air sketches on your travels to the grocery store or Italy. Write a song if you are inclined. Learn to play an instrument if you feel the need. Dance. Walk dogs and whistle. Be a volunteer. Yes, movement and being around others is good for your creative brain - it takes you out of the Self and relaxes what needs to be forgotten for a moment and clears the headspace.
I had a friend who used to tell me , "ya know, if you turn your back on a problem- It might just go away". I think we know the kinds of problems we can turn a our backs on and which ones to face head on. Maybe giving our SELF permission is key to letting life enter in and WE can find therapeutic ways to enjoy the smaller things around us making for a bigger LIFE. The small things do matter, they add up to the BIG picture.
The meandering on this blog is not meant to be Therapy advice or a replacement for Therapy. It is only from my experience and talking with others. IN no way should anything on the internet be taken so seriously as to forgo any medical advice from professionals.