Hi I and some friends are trying to set up a wellness centre and yesterday we had a big debate about "Arts and Crafts ", some people think it's insulting to offer this to people with trauma related unwellness. My view is that if a qualified facilitator runs the group then it could be very benifical.

I don't have any experience of having attended a well run class in this area. Can anyone give me some good experiences that they have had with this type of class. 😊

13 Replies

  • That's actually how I started opening up about what happened -- through art. My therapist never pressured me to talk about anything but so much came out in my art. Art has really been both an anchor and an outlet for me and I believe anything creative--visual and performance art--can be immensely healing.

  • Thank you Red 85. I think Art is a great way to express oneself. But most of the time the "Art Theraphy" was given to us by untrained and uninterested staff. We just sat there and painted. It was very frustrating. That's what put a lot of us off. Can you put up some of the stuff you have done. 😊

  • So we did exercises like creating a sanctuary from found objects (the therapist provided rocks, shells, scarves, toys, pictures). We then commented on each other's sanctuaries and drew the feelings they elicited.

    Some sessions began with choosing an object that spoke to us and then illustrating the feelings it elicited and writing down 3 words that came to mind.

    Lots of free association, drawing feelings to identify, clarify and express them and connecting those feelings to thoughts. My therapist also had a wonderful collection of postcards we use to free associate. Also, allowing pictures, drawings and objects to speak, "If this item could speak, what would it say?" Or "if these items could speak to each other, what would they say?"

    All of the activities allow us to create a sense of safety in expressing our emotions. The therapist also led us through a grounding visualization at the end to create safety before leaving the group.

    Hope this helps!

  • Thanks for that 😀

  • Hi there I have had PTSD for 26 years and think arts and crafts groups are an excellent idea if facilitated by art therapists, psychiatric activity workers etc because it can be quite cathartic and emotional. However if it is facilitated correctly I believe it can be very healing. I wish you all the best with setting up a group in your area. I am currently trying to get referred to an art therapist myself but will have to wait until I get out of hospital. We have art groups in here and I know they are very popular. Sometimes the opportunity to express yourself is beneficial but I would advise you to get a professional involved. Go for it and keep us updated good luck with a great idea xxx

  • Thanks Eargon, I agree a professional is required to make this work.

  • Thanks for your support

  • Hi,

    I've never considered myself artistic. Whenever I hit low or stuck points with my PTSD recovery, drawing has helped me express my inner confused ,hurt self and release a bit of the pain. My therapist has included different art projects in my healing journey, It has helped me move forward. Talking, listening and using words is one component but our brain also needs healing in the non verbal areas. It has been so helpful for me and I think it is a very important piece of healing. Plus, sometimes it is just fun which we sorely need.

    Your friends may not have experienced art as therapy and so don't understand the concept. I certainly didn't before the PTSD stuff.

  • Hi Equis- Canine, thank you for your reply. I need to research this more. Can you show examples of your work. 😊. Please.

  • Art Therapy helped me a lot; but I was an arty person anyway. Some folk may not find it beneficial. I would suggest a range of activities where possible, such as Meditation or perhaps yoga, cookery or gardening, dance or some sort of sport. This , of course, assumes you have the room and hopefully the funding.

  • I really don't understand why it would be insulting, as long as it's presented in a respectful way. 9Maybe they are thinking "kid stuff" like making paper chains or coloring or something. Although even that could be beneicial for those who were traumatized in childhood.) I have not done anything with class but had an excellent experience with individual art therapy. Also because she was a student not yet certified (but under supervision) it was free! Perhaps if you got a certified art therapist and called it "art therapy" it would be better received. One of the hospices in the area offer art therapy classes for grief support. They keep on doing it so it must be well received. Maybe it would be good to just ASK people what they would find helpful and not insulting.

    Good luck to you in your project!

  • I Say go For it!!!!! I Am not normally the "Artsy" Type, but lately, I've been remembering all the Crafts I used to do with my Grandma Jeanne. There are a lot of great ideas out there!

  • Hi i just want to say thank you to all who replied. i an blown away in a good sense by all the messages i have been given :)

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