Summary: Easing expressingWhen there is a behavioural issue, traumatic memory or difficulty regulating emotions, art therapy can help. A trained art therapist might use colouring pages to calm a person in a specific session, but it is not a replacement for the psychological process of therapy.” Magdalene Jeyarathnam, who has been practising art therapy for 23 years, recalls asking one of her clients to answer the question ‘Where are you in your life?’ visually. Even activities like colouring, zentangling and doodling have a meditative effect, “but psychology works on much deeper emotional and relational levels. Alternatively, therapists (usually psychologists or psychotherapists by training) use mediums such as water colours, oil pastels, clay, collage, colour pencils, puppets, amongst others.
Sometimes words are not enough to convey how one feels. That’s where colours and symbols help. Magdalene Jeyarathnam, who has been practising art therapy for 23 years, recalls asking one of her clients to answer the question ‘Where are you in your life?’ visually.
The person simply drew a tree that was chopped. “She didn’t utter a word, but the image was enough to show how she was feeling. It is easy to express the extent of a person’s emotions through art, which is one of the most non-judgemental and gentle ways of therapy,” says Chennai-based Jeyarathnam, director at East West Center for Counselling & Training, and director, Indian Institute of Psychodrama. Easing expressing When there is a behavioural issue, traumatic memory or difficulty regulating emotions, art therapy can help.
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