stories of healing

Art Therapy uses art media, the creative process and resulting artwork to explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem (American Art Therapy Association). Art Therapy embraces the idea that art is a means of symbolic communication and expresses personality, emotions and other aspects of the human experience. Since traumatic experiences are physiological, the brain stores the trauma through sensory information. Art is sensory — there is touch, smell, sound, etc. Art Therapy enhances processing done in the therapeutic setting, allowing art to tap into traumatic sensory materials in a way that words alone cannot.

At ZCenter, we have access to a broad range of art materials which gives the client and counselor options if art is utilized in session. Art as therapy is where art-making activities are used as a therapeutic tool toward the process of healing, expressing oneself, and reducing stress. Art psychotherapy is a form of expressive therapy which is based on the idea that art is a vehicle for symbolic communication. We are able to provide both means of processing for our clients.

This art piece, titled “My Butterfly,” was created in June 2018 as part of the “Bravery in Bloom” theme for ZCenter’s annual community luncheon. It is an example of how an art activity can also intersect with art therapy, serving as a creative way for a survivor to express emotions.

This art was developed along the “Bravery” theme:

To learn about other ways we support survivors, including counseling and advocacy, click here.



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