Megan Bartley circle painting

Is Art Therapy Right for You?!

Hello there! My name is Rachel Taylor Martin and I am a Licensed Professional Art Therapist. I’m wondering how long has it been since you colored, drew, or made some type of art. Unless you are artistic, you probably stopped making art around age 11 or 12. Creating art can help you to de-stress and relax. It can give you the opportunity to get lost (in the zone).

Have you heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words?” The reason behind this is that a single image can inspire many words. Art therapy helps us to work through our emotional issues.

When this occurs it can bring underlying thoughts and feelings to the surface where they can be examined and worked through. This can enhance and speed up the healing process. Sometimes we don’t have the words to describe how we are feeling inside. Art can increase self-awareness visually without using words, opening up a new way of expressing ourselves. It can be beneficial to anyone who is experiencing distress and looking for relief from the emotional pain that is keeping them from enjoying or moving forward in life.

Some of the people I have worked with have found the experience of art therapy eye-opening and empowering. It really doesn’t matter what age you are. Can you remember a piece of art you saw that took your breath away, really captured your attention, or made you more curious? Whether you experienced the artwork in person, in a book, or online art is powerful. It truly is a way of connecting with ourselves and others.

Here are some things I love about Art Therapy:

+ Art is universal
+It doesn’t matter how it turns out – it is about the art-making experience
+It can enhance the healing process
+It is a great way to take time for yourself which is self-care
+It can be a rewarding experience.
+It is a wonderful way to increase self-love and self-worth
+Sometimes just opening up and letting go of the things that have been causing you pain can provide a sense of peace and acceptance.
+Making art allows for self-reflection
+Sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zone to learn something new which helps us to grow and become the best version of ourselves
+It can give you a chance to look within and discover what is actually bothering you so you can express it
+It can help you to organize your thoughts and improve clarity and focus
+It allows you to get in touch with your senses through various types of art media
+Connections can be made as you resonate with the art.
+It can provide quiet time

When we take time for ourselves and try new things it makes us feel better and gives us the courage to make the changes we want to make in ourselves and our lives. It can alleviate the pain we have been holding on to and give us relief. Art therapy is a way to restore a sense of well-being and help us become unstuck. Being open-minded and trusting the process can allow emotions to move through you as you experience the therapeutic value of art.

If this sounds like an interesting experience for you, and you’d like to find out more, feel free to schedule a free 10-minute consult with me at your convenience online HERE!

art therapy, art therapist, rachel martin, rachel

Rachel Taylor Martin, LPAT specializes in art therapy with people of all ages to help process, heal, and make sense of feelings and experiences that are hard to put words to. If you have a sense that art therapy could be an interesting experience and/or right for you, then likely it will be! Plus, there’s no need to be artistic! It is in the act of creating that healing and insight can come, not necessarily in the finished product. Creating art connects us to our subconscious which is full of wonderfully helpful information. Clients report Rachel is genuine, compassionate, holistic, and non-judgmental.

Megan Bayles Bartley is excited for Rachel to join the team and knows she will be a wonderful resource for you.

Find out more on Rachel’s bio page on the Louisville Mindfulness Center website!

Tools for Your Parenting Toolbox: SELF-COMPASSION & REFRAMING

Welcome back to the third and final post in my series on how we can support our kids by using some simple therapeutic strategies at home. I’m Kim Hamilton and a therapist at Louisville Mindfulness Center. I specialize in working with kids, teens, and parents to create family harmony. I love to support parents by offering them tools for their parenting toolbox to handle the stress and uncertainty that comes along with parenting.

In the past weeks, I have told you about three other tools  – Attunement, Emotional Literacy, and Self-Regulation. With these skills, you are able to take notice when your child needs a deeper level of attention, help them to understand what they are feeling and why, and give them tips on how to cope in the moment. Be sure to check out the previous posts for more detail!

Today I will share with you the final two tools: self-compassion and reframing.

SELF-COMPASSION

Give yourself and your child a break! If your child is hard on themselves, don’t just tell them to calm down. Instead, talk with them about the three steps to implement self-compassion:

  1. Acknowledge that you are experiencing pain and be kind to yourself. Being kind to yourself increases well-being, reduces anxiety and depression and can help fend off other health issues like substance abuse, eating disorders, and suicidal ideation.
  2. Recognize that you are not alone. We are so creatures and mostly all harbor some amount of empathy for other people. If someone around you is feeling anxious, you will most likely pick up on that and feel some anxiety. This is especially true for close relationships, like parents and children. 
  3. Put your experiences in perspective to moderate your own negative reactivity. If your child is having a high-intensity moment and you are feeling yourself getting worked up, instead of exploding, implement self-compassion instead. You can do this by speaking out loud or silently to calm yourself. Your child benefits regardless.
REFRAMING

This final tool is one of my favorites! When we get annoyed, mad, or frustrated with our kids, we often begin labeling them either out loud or in our heads. Instead of automatically going to that place, try thinking about other ways you can look at the situation.

By avoiding assumptions and judgments you can see and become open to other possibilities and can envision positive paths forward. For example, if your child is upset because they are having trouble with a friend, they may immediately go to the worst possible scenario and assume things like the friend doesn’t like them anymore or maybe even that nobody likes them. You can help them feel better by reframing the situation and asking questions like, “What’s the worst thing that could happen? Is it forever or just temporary? Is it everybody?”

Help them to question the assumptions they are making and to think optimistically. This way they are able to see bad things as temporary and specific. It’s easy to generalize and view bad situations as permanent when we are sad or upset. By reframing, we can see the other, more realistic, possibilities.

I hope you have enjoyed learning these five skills and are now able to implement them into practice with yourself and with your family! By learning how to be a more effective parent and really listening to our kids, we build their resilience so they can be happy, motivated, and empowered.

If you have experimented with these tools with your children, I’d love to know how it went! Feel free to email me and let me know: Kim@LouisvilleMindfulnessCenter.com.

If you liked what you read and feel I could be of assistance to you and your family, feel free to schedule a free 10-minute consult with me at your convenience online HERE!

Kim Hamilton, MAMFT specializes in working with kids, teens, and parents to bring emotional regulation and harmony to families and households. She works from a non-judgemental, solution-focused, non-pathologizing perspective that creates win-win scenarios within relationships. Megan Bayles Bartley is excited for Kim to join the team and knows she will be a wonderful resource for your family.

Find out more on Kim’s bio page on the Louisville Mindfulness Center website!

 

 

*This blog was inspired by the Washington Post article: “Five skills parents can learn so they can help their children cope”