(Francis Dewar – from his book ‘Live for a Change’, used here with his permission.)
As human beings we experience the world around us in varied and multi-sensory ways – through what we see, hear, taste and touch, through colour and texture, through physical movement and imagination – yet traditional counselling and psychotherapy are often confined to sitting and talking. Whilst it is really good and important to talk about feelings and thoughts, I often find that simply talking about our experiences isn’t quite enough. Talking can sometimes keep us locked inside a familiar spiral of words, telling and re-telling the same stories, but without seeing any real change.
I have discovered that if we can literally ‘see’ our story or ‘do’ something tangible with our feelings, things often begin to shift. This is an invitation to get ‘out of your head’ and into a new and deeper way of exploring your situation which can lead to surprising insights and new ways forward. This is why I love working with the creative arts in therapy. I should emphasise here that I never impose anything – I simply offer various creative options and you are free to use them – or not, as you choose. The main media I use are: visual arts/paint/pastels, sand-tray, simple objects, clay/plasticine, stones, buttons, fabrics, Russian dolls, imaginative visualisation, creative writing, drama, body awareness, movement, puppets, and percussion/sound.
'I feel that Marie has helped me overcome my anxiety disorder and maintain a healthy perspective on things in my life. I have faced a lot of things from my past with her, and she has helped me overcome them. I found the hands-on approach of using the objects around the room very helpful as it helped me visualise my thoughts and approach them differently.'
(Rebecca, a former client)