Being creative can re-establish the connection with your authentic self in one of the most beautiful ways:
Most mental illnesses, such as anxiety, depression or intense mood swings stem from a disconnection from self. You can compare this to an airplane that has lost its connection to Air Traffic Control.
How can painting help?
Every mental illness is a message from your soul. This message, however, is mostly not clear, as the soul uses symbols to express itself. A depression can, for example, represent the message: "I am sad and you are not listening to me and to what I really need." Most people who develop a mental illness only then start listening to themselves when their illness has become so severe, that they are not able to function anymore. Painting can help understand the message of your soul.
How does this work?
Like dreams, paintings can be interpreted in many ways. But with the help of an art therapist, you will be able to decipher the meaning of it. In art therapy, it always helps to have a question to work on. You could, for example, ask: "What do I need in order to feel better?" As an art therapist I would then show you a range of colours and ask you which colour makes you feel good right now. Once you have chosen a colour, you can either start painting something that you feel positive about - or, if you just don't know where to start, you can begin with painting a shape that makes you feel good (like a circle or a square).
Your art therapist will guide you
Whatever it is, that you need - guidance, help or just someone sitting next to you while you paint - your art therapist will provide you with it. With your therapist's help you will be able to establish a contact with a part of you that usually has no way to express itself. This is why so many people yearn to create. And it's also the reason why so many people are unable to create, as the process of creativity brings exactly this connection with self, and this is often (subconsciously) avoided.
I'm Natalie Marby, an English speaking art therapist in Hamburg, Germany. I am half German and half British and I offer psychotherapy and art therapy in English, especially for expats living in Hamburg. To contact me, you can send me an email or call me: (040) 46090233. (Please don't forget to send me your phone number and the times I can reach you). I look forward to hearing from you!
Read more about my therapy method: Healing the inner child.