I am trained to work with a range of creative techniques in our therapy, and I am constantly on the look out for new ideas and exercises which we can work with in our sessions. I work in a collaborative and flexible way, moulding my therapeutic approach to suit your needs and the issues you are bringing to counselling. We do not need to work creatively, but knowing there are a range of different ways we can explore an issue gives us greater possibility to find what works for you.
What are the benefits of creative counselling?
In counselling, it is my role to try and understand what life is like for you. Sometimes, it is difficult to find the words that accurately explain how you feel. Using creative tools like drawing, writing poetry, using image cards and working with metaphor can give additional dimensions for conveying or representing your experience. They provide a metaphorical bridge / key / gateway / touchstone so that we can both access your feelings and thoughts.
Once we have created something that represents us, or a part of you, or a feeling, we can work with that creation to explore different perspectives. This process can enable unconscious thoughts and feelings to emerge and give a fuller picture of your inner world.
If language or verbal communication differences are a barrier, working creatively can enable empathy and understanding even when words cannot.
The creative process allows us to use different parts of our brain – when we are talking and trying to make sense of our thoughts, we can lose contact with the felt sense and our full experience. Creative therapy gives our sense-making brain a rest and can allow us to be in the moment. This can also provide insight into different motivations and feelings we may not see otherwise.
You don’t have to be an artist to work creatively. There is no judgement on what you create, it is an opportunity to talk through your process and the meaning associated with what you have created.
We can work creatively outside, inside and over the phone. For example, we may draw on the natural materials outside, on the weather, on the way we move to deepen our understanding. When indoors, we might use stones, or colours, or puzzles, images, painting, clay, photographs, poetry … the list is endless!
Working over the phone requires us to be creative in itself, we cannot see one another and so frequent checking of feelings and physical sense needs to be explicit. We can also work with metaphor, visualisation and can use email to share images and creative work which we can then view and talk through during the session.