What is art therapy? According to the American Art Therapy Association: 'Art Therapy is the use of art materials in a therapeutic setting and enables a client to express through art what they can’t say in words". It’s not necessary to be an artist to realize the benefits of art therapy. For children the act of creating artwork comes very naturally. For adults, this process can often cause stress as many individuals feel they are not artists. Art therapy is not about creating a pretty picture, rather it’s about letting intuitive expression come through the unconscious'.
Its been found that with psychotherapeutic intervention such as art therapy many individuals are able to participate, as art therapy is in a unique position of being able to offer verbal and non-verbal, direct, gentle and less threatening interventions talking is not necessary.
Art therapy can facilitate improvements in motor skills and memory. It can improve interpersonal skills, and improve expression of feelings by easing anxiety, depression and stress.
Shattered The Voice Healed with Art, a visual memoire By Yvonne Gordon Moser
I looked around the locked ward at the Silver Hills psychiatric hospital wondering “how the hell after 16 years of sobriety did I wind up here”. Before I was released, I realized that my love of art was more than just a hobby, it would and had always kept me alive.
Sitting silently with my hospital roommate I started tearing bits of color from the donated magazines. Ripping and arranging, tearing and crumpling on the hard table surface I started creating.
I asked the nurse behind the protective glass for art materials, “There weren’t any available”. Not quite thinking, I asked for scissors and glue. I was given a wry smile, some child safety scissors and a glue stick.
Before I was considered safe for discharge, I had gathered six other patients to create art with me, and we were all starting to connect, open up. When I was released, they gave me back my shoelaces.
This mosaic is what I created while there; ‘Shattered’, spoke volumes when I couldn’t, it gave me a voice. Creating art kept me alive, and gave me a purpose and hope. I went on to get my Master’s degree in Art Therapy from Albertus Magnus and founded the Branford Art Center and YMG Wellness LLC in Branford, Ct.
I share my personal experience with others in hopes they may also find their voice through the ‘process of creating'.
Healing and recovery are possible despite living with emotional and physical traumas. I have used art all my life to heal and cope with my personal demons. Today I have a share my experience to help others heal using the magic of art. My memoir SHATTERED includes images of original artwork from 1975-2019 and personal writings from my journey of recovery. I pray that the message can offer hope to anyone still suffering alone, letting them know that healing is possible. It can be found on Amazon Kindle.