Over the past half century, art therapy has expanded from a tool to address the unmet needs of individuals facing adversity and trauma to much wider use in hospitals, schools, and community organizations to promote health and well-being through artistic self-expression. In my own work as a therapist I have used art to get kids to open up and express how they felt.
And my caregivers patients, seeking mental health support used the medium as a way to destress and reported feeling less burnout. Many responded that the experience distracted them from their daily concerns and allowed them to focus elsewhere.
As a trauma-informed nutritionist I used art to help my emotional eating clients and those struggling to heal from abandonment and childhood emotional neglect to process unresolved emotional pain. Afterward, participants reported feeling more positive, less stressed, less anxious, and more self-confident in doing the work needed to heal and recover from.
I've also used art to heal and process my own emotional wounds after a relapse I struggled through in Fall 2013. Last month I shared a few pieces in a post I wrote Art Heals: Trauma-Informed Arts Therapy. The message here is simple recovery takes different forms do what is right for you. I'm just spreading awareness around the fact that art heals. Tried and true implements in different settings I have worked in proven my point.
Trying to make sense of escaping with food after being mom shamed and called fat during the holidays by inconsiderate elders not knowing any better. I. didn't feel blue. I felt disgusted.
Trying to process the loss of a miscarriage I felt as if I was lost in foggy woods all alone and drowning in pain.
Sitting outside on my front porch reading my bible and talking to God, Angels, Ancestors, and my Divine Team and this is what the sky looked liked so I grabbed my camera to capture the beauty of God's Creation.
The bottomline is art heals. Let it help you recover. To see more of my work visit here.
All The Best,
Dr. Nikki LeToya White