Michael Thaden, MS
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
We all have pools of wisdom – places of tender access where we connect, share, and recharge our spirit. At times we may find this kind of resonance in nature’s formations and confluences, while at other times we may find it forming in our own hands. Creative Arts Therapy is found in our human gestures and expressions, providing rich facets of experience to appreciate and learn from. At times it can flow playfully and spontaneously, seemingly without much thought or intention. At other times it can be a more conscious process deliberately driven by a sense of passionate commitment and purpose. I am a multimedia art therapist, and have a broad view of what creative therapeutic media can include.
Read more about Art Therapy from the American Art Therapy Association.
There are multiple ways of touching our deeper centers of meaning and perspective. Creative expression is something we all have waiting to be tapped, whether or not we have yet discovered a preferred medium or modality. While the process of handling, playing, and working with art media can be healing on many levels in and of itself (Art As Therapy, Tessa Dalley,1984), it can also be made available as a Psychotherapy modality for expressing, clarifying, and resolving symptoms (Art Psychotherapy, Wadeson, 1980). You may enjoy recalling various sensory delights you discovered as a child. Your list may include playing in the water and sand at the beach, making "mud pies" in the back yard, or discovering the magical way images form as you are introduced to finger paints.
I have not only found Art and Play Therapy materials useful in working with various age groups of children and adolescents, but have seen them to be immensely powerful and enjoyable for adults. Art Therapy is an active, empowering form of therapy which supports safe expression of what may have initially seemed difficult or impossible. It allows us to clarify internal experience and find new perspectives for resolution of a multitude of human experiences. Just as listening and attending to our body language is a potent source of understanding about current experience, our personal symbols and imagery provide potent wells of working knowledge which rewards us for our attendance.