What would it be like expressing difficult thoughts and feelings if it did not have to involve talking? Have you ever had amazing insight into life, but still couldn't create change? Art Therapy can illuminate the unconscious blocks all without having to say a word.
People often come to therapy with so many barriers to change. It can feel like a struggle to keep yourself motivated and on the right path. Have you noticed that you can have great insight and learn skills, but don't use them? We can help you see what is holding you back in recovery and your path forward.
You will have a concrete image of your own inner world to focus on to build lasting change.
Art Therapy is a creative process that uses art making to build positive changes in mental and emotional health.
Art Therapy allows us to achieve insight and change through the creative process. By drawing, painting and sculpting, the participant can resolve conflicts, work through past traumas, increase self esteem and self awareness.
Art captures a person’s feelings, thoughts and issues at that moment. Through the course of therapy, you will be able to see progress by reviewing the art made. Art Therapy allows your creativity to help you change into the person you aspire to be.
At Berger Counseling Services, our founder, Marla Berger is a Registered Art Therapist. Here's her story about how Art Therapy allowed her to see and grow through creation.
"When I was in my Master's program at University of Louisville, they required us to attend therapy ourselves. It allowed us insight into what therapy was like from the inside and work on any issues that might get in the way of our own services in the future. It also set the standard for me that everyone needs help sometimes - even the helpers. I chose a wonderful Art Therapist MaryAnn to be my counselor. While I went to therapy thinking I was pretty OK, it became an amazing time of growth and self-discovery. At the time, I was in a long distance relationship, let's call him Steve. Steve and I had known each other since high school and I felt like he'd be The One. We got along great, despite the distance. Back in the old days, long distance calls were still expensive, but we talked as much as we could. We shared our everyday struggles, our long term goals and supported each other through rough times. When I would meet with MaryAnn, she would ask me to depict issues in my life. At the time, I was using swirling lines in a lima bean shape to represent people. I used these loops and whirls to show feelings, energy and thoughts. Each color meant something specific to me. Lime green was bright, happy energy, the smell of fresh cut grass and feel of endless possibilities. Orange was a sick feeling in my stomach, dread and illness. Light blue was calm, centered and focused with mindfulness. I drew these lima bean shapes endlessly that year. One day, MaryAnn asked me to show my connection with Steve in a drawing. I immediately jumped into my lima bean shapes, chosing colors that represented us as people and our connection to each other. I filled the paper with bright, vibrant colors and lines to show what an amazing duo Steve and I were. Connecting the two lima beans was a strand of lines, some bright, some dark. I felt that the distance was a bit of a yin & yang. That's when I got to see the true mystery that is Art Therapy unfold. You see, I figured that I knew myself better than anyone else. Yet MaryAnn was able to see something that I never had in all the long months of lima bean drawings. She noticed that my lima beans looked like ears....I was astounded! How could I not realize what my own hands were drawing. And yet I didn't see it until she pointed it out. At that moment the weight of a long distance relationship crashed down on me. I felt the distance, both physical and emotional. I noticed that what Steve and I were actually really great friends, but maybe not a great couple. That realization allowed me to reassess my relationship - was it truly right for me? I can still remember that moment to this day, 20+ years later, when my eyes shifted and I saw my entire world in a different light."
Marla is a Registered Art Therapist, currently serving on the Scholarship Committee of the Florida Art Therapy Association.