I believe in art and healing. They go hand in hand as far as I’m concerned. From way back, I’ve felt that art had healing powers. It is why when I was in my late 30’s I decided to go back to school to become an art therapist (that’s another story). Although I didn’t become an “actual” art therapist, I’ve used art as a tool for my own healing and I’ve seen it help others lives as well.
And with those words, I am honored to be the featured artist on the June 2013 issue of Arts & Health magazine.
Healed by the Power of Art
Art has an extraordinary power that inspires creativity piques curiosity and unleashes all kinds of emotions. Creating a simple pencil drawing can have an incredibly intense and positive effect on an individual, while viewing a powerful piece of work can give us that same intoxicating, almost spiritual experience.
Art is instantly accessible to all – all you need is pen and paper and, of course, your imagination. And as feelings and emotions are expressed through sketching, drawing or painting, the burden of pain and hurt can often be lifted.
Seeds of Hope in Depths of Despair
The power of art has been harnessed by psychotherapists who use every aspect of the genre, from the visual arts to music and dance, in a therapeutic environment to aid healing and treatment. Substance abusers and alcohol addicts are particularly helped by this type of therapy. Some treatments in Utah, for example, offer recovery programs that offer in-patient services where the individual can find hope for a sober and addiction-free future by expressing their fears and concerns through their creativity. Even if only for a fleeting moment, art has the power to remove the recovering addict from the grimness of their situation and can help to set their spirit free.
How Art Helped Heal a Family
A few months ago I received an email from one of my Facebook followers. It was a heartfelt letter about how my art and her family’s healing process were intertwined. I’m not going to say who the person was to protect her privacy but it was very touching!
I’ve received other correspondence such as this through the years but none as powerful as this one. It really touched me to my core. It began,
“I need to tell you how your artwork saved my life.
I know that sounds very dramatic and cliché but it’s the truth.
Nearly three years ago, my husband was in a horrible car accident that took the life of his friend and nearly took his life too. Because of his injuries, he has been forever changed and now lives with a brain injury.”
I was gripped by this letter. I read on with intense interest and concern plus the question, how did my art help this person and her family?
She went on to tell me her story about her husband, his loss of memory, the false accusations about the accident and how they prayed for healing and for things to get better. She wrote,
“I have no idea how I found your website. It was fate or Divine intervention. Your Peace Trees spoke to me. They reminded me of our cabin in the forest, surrounded by poplar and birch trees. They also seemed to have such a magical spirit to them. A magic I so desperately needed. I stared at them, willing myself to enter that forest and be sheltered by their magical tattooed branches. I cried so many tears under those branches, felt the breeze tame my fears and started to heal.”
I had goose bumps reading her story.
“I had started trying my hand at painting, at the suggestion of one of the therapists at the hospital. I have no training and very little talent but I saw your videos on youtube and thought I would try….”
To be continued….
Check back tomorrow for more of this inspiring story.
Parts of this article on art + healing were written by Lisa Jones.