Visual thinking is our ability and tendency to organize our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions.
I witnessed a little boy’s troubles- his pages would constantly tear when he sketched or drew. At that point, I could only advise him to apply less pressure on the paper. I had no idea that his craggy strokes and torn papers were caused by something deep within. After careful consideration and a little bit of thinking, I remembered that art is a common form of expression for many people. Often, people use art to convey what they feel on the inside. The entire experience opened my eyes and pushed me to delve into the world of therapeutic art.
While creatively expressing yourself, it’s important to be as open as possible and not hold back. Self-exploration can be a hindrance when trying to communicate via normal language and expression. However, with art therapy, you are giving yourself the artistic license to really explore and not only find but define new things about yourself.
Art therapy has scope for boundless growth. As an educator, it dawned upon me- that art therapy would help my students and me build self-awareness, explore emotions, and process what we feel. The unconscious mind is the central point of feelings and human behavior. Our past experiences are stored in our unconscious mind, which prompts this part of the mind to dictate feelings.
Art is closer to the unconscious mind because our visual perceptions predate our capacity for verbal expression. While an art therapy session would look like an art class on the surface, the goals and purposes are different.
Therefore, art therapy is a dynamic therapy, the beauty of it requires one to participate in one’s own treatment.