Living a creative life
Doesn't everyone wish to live a creative life? What creativity means, or to live a creative life - will be different for every person. Some characteristics of creativity involve the capacity to see things from a new perspective, to adapt and make changes, to experiment and find solutions to problems. To create new things or ideas. Another aspect of creativity, as in the arts, is to do with self-expression and self-discovery, and with communicating and connecting from the depths of one’s self. Creativity gives human beings a deeper sense of fulfilment; it requires energy, the transformation of patterns that may be blocking us, and the courage to advance, finding meaning amid life’s uncertainties.
The use of the arts in counselling can add another dimension to the way a diversity of life issues can be explored in the therapy room. An image, such as a drawing, painting, collage or a clay figure can clarify what is being communicated in the therapy. For example, a drawing illustrating a conflict, anger, fear or a particular theme, can also reveal new aspects, allowing a process of self-knowledge. The counsellor, being there to witness the client’s exploration, can support the process of art making and encourage thinking and reflecting linked to the art work and to the clients insights. It is not about their artistic skills, whether they're good or bad at art, or about the therapist interpreting the work for the client. It is about being curious in exploring meaning with the client, which can also be just letting the process of art making, ‘do’ the therapy, when words can’t reach.
Art making, or other means of creative expression, can complement talking in the therapy room. After all, talking, although being a fundamental way of creative expression, it is by no means the only way that we can give expression to our experience. Taking place at the client’s own pace, art making can be a tool to bring about change and transformation and help to work towards the unique process of developing a creative approach to life, whatever that may mean for you.
About the author
Enrique Sanchez is an Integrative Child and Adolescent Counsellor working with children, young people and adults.
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