Ways to get your confidence back using Art as Therapy
Art therapy is a form of therapeutic practice which uses art as an effective way to deal with emotional issues. Art therapy empowers the user or patient through the use of creativity and positivity.
There are many ways of practising art therapy, from seeing a professional art therapist to techniques you can use at home.
Join a drawing club
Suffering from Cancer is mentally and physically draining. Joining a club or society which helps stimulate the brain in a creative and calming way can act as a complimentary therapy alongside standard medical treatment for the disease.
Drawing in all its forms releases endorphins which can help to heal. You do not have to be good at art to benefit from the classes, allowing your mind to create in any form of art, whether this be lines, colours, doodles etc. is enough to have a positive effect on your recovery.
Art classes can be found in local communities around the country and often meet on a regular weekly basis. It may give you the opportunity to meet other women in a similar situation and talk about your experiences.
Meet with a Therapist
An Art Therapist is not there to teach you art or skills nor to judge you they are trained to help you grow on a personal level through the use of art materials in both a safe and facilitating environment. Art Therapists have a considerable understanding of the processes of art and how it should be used to gain benefit for you as an individual. Medical staff can only to an extent relieve you of the pain and suffering that comes with a diagnosis of Cancer. Art Therapists can offer a positive outlet and complimentary therapy to treatment and anecdotal evidence suggests that practising art can help a healing process.
NHS give details on complimentary therapies alongside standard medical treatment.
Paint in all its forms
Painting can be a very therapeutic experience or hobby. The form of expression can be an escapism for many women when dealing with emotions is too difficult with words. Painting is also very accessible because supplies don’t have to be extravagant. Depending on the type of painting you decide to try, paints can be bought at reasonable prices at any reputable art store such as Hobbycraft. There are various mediums when it comes to painting. Watercolour is softer and can create moods within a picture easily, by blending strokes with different amounts of water.
Equally acrylics create depth through easily blending colours for shade and consistency. Oil painting will require more effort because the paints work as a pigment which is mixed with oil, usually linseed. If you have the time to set aside and patience for the paintings to dry, then it is more than worth giving it a go.
Pauline Lomas was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2001 and has painted on glass to create beautiful chalices as therapy. Her artwork and books on the power of healing can be found on her website and her personal story about her experience with art therapy will be soon uploaded here.
Get in touch with Nature
The great British outdoors can be truly appreciated when you slow yourself down and see it from a different perspective. Whether it is your back garden, a spot on the coastline or a bench surrounding by country, letting your hand do the work can be therapeutic and a stark contrast to the tribulations of hospitals and treatment.
This is your perfect time to enjoy the tranquillity of wherever suits you best, in a place where you can relax, clear your mind from anxiety or stress and re-engage in positive thinking.
Harriet Barber was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2008 and decided to create the Breast Cancer LIFE exhibition which grew out of her collaboration with Art@Plush organiser Dot Browning, and a number of other women who had all undergone treatment for breast cancer.