This first series of activities is from
The Huffington Post | By Priscilla Frank
“Art therapy is a form of therapy that encourages creativity and self-expression as vehicles to reduce stress, improve self-esteem, increase awareness and help remedy trauma. While many other forms of therapy depend on verbal language to express feelings and overcome personal obstacles, art therapy allows for other, more abstract forms of communication. This tactic makes room for elements of the subconscious that perhaps are not yet ready or able to be verbalized come to the surface.
You do not have to be an artist to enjoy the benefits of art therapy. In fact, most of the exercises rely not on the final product you create but on the therapeutic, meditative ritual of the creative process. If you’re intrigued by the process of relaxation through artistic imagination, we’ve compiled a starter kit to get you on your way.
The following suggestions are simple ways to explore your inner creative voice while turning off the negative influences that so often get in the way. They may not all work for you, but hopefully one or more of the following techniques will serve as the artistic equivalent of a long, hot bath.”
- Build an altar to a loved one When I saw this activity, I felt that it might be the perfect one for arachnoiditis survivors. Many survivors grieve for the person that they were before arachnoiditis entered their lives. My suggestion is that it might be beneficial to build this altar in halves. The left half is the altar to the “YOU” that you remember and the right half is a second altar to the “YOU” that you would like to become. There will certainly be a disparity of sorts between these two images. However, the combination of them gives some semblance of recognition and tribute to the validity of the “YOU” that you are now.
“Take inspiration from folk art and create an altar honoring a unique relationship between you and another person, living or not. Decorate the shrine with photographs, letters and relics of memorable times spent together, as well as new art objects you’ve created in their honor. Anything can become artistic material, from gifts you’ve exchanged to a candy wrapper you know your subject would love. Building a totem to another person awakens memories and creates a physical manifestation of a relationship that can provide comfort in tough times.” ~ PF
Creating a physical manifestation to honor the relationship between both sides of yourself becomes an empowering totem which promotes an inner acceptance of you. Some other things you might want to consider as artistic material: memorabilia of a victory or milestone achieved, an obstacle you have overcome, a grocery receipt for healthy foods that support your recovery, a teabag tag that gave a few minutes of grace in an otherwise horrendous day, a leaf of many colors or any object that reminded you of the beauty that still exists in the world, a case number to show you are in pursuit of justice, a photograph of quality time you have spent with a child, and any other found or created object which celebrates your achievements- great and small.
There is no obligation to share images of your finished healing art activities. However, you are welcome to do so in this thread or in a private message for possible inclusion in the Art By Survivors portion of the Art For Arachnoiditis Project public exhibition. Be sure to specify if you would like to be named or remain anonymous at the exhibition. Here is the Project Registration Form .