With over 10 years’ experience in Counselling I can confidently say that no two clients are ever the same. Everyone has their own storey, experience and way of processing. Talking is of course the obvious form of communication in a talking therapy but it not always the most productive. I believe that the use of tools such as stones, Russian dolls, salt jars, clay, pens, paper, memory boxes, mandalas, photos and pretty much anything within reach at the time can be an excellent way of creating a visual of what’s being spoken about or what you are experiencing within.
Many clients tell me they think visually and this way of working really helps them move forward or for some it takes the pressure off having to talk for 50 minutes if this is difficult. Some clients don’t always have a language for their feelings, particularly if they have been encouraged to cover up how they feel or have never been asked to talk about them. Basically we can use creativity in a way that suits you.
Monique Mandali a holistic therapist and the author of Everyone’s Mandala Colouring Book, reminds us that the act of colouring in mandala images can help us become more focussed when we feel scattered. By being open to creativity you are opening up a way for your difficult thoughts and feelings to come in to your awareness, Monique describes this as “messages from the unconscious, like bubbles that have been trapped at the bottom of the lake and are finally released.” Once you are aware of these messages you can make choices about happens next.
Working creatively does not mean making artwork, it simply means sometimes using something solid or tangible to help you look inside and express whats there.