DeLight Correspondence Art Counseling
What is DeLight Correspondence Art Counseling?
You can do our counseling course from the comfort of your own home, at a time that is convenient for you and your busy schedule.
It is accessible, affordable and flexible and we will adapt it to accommodate your needs.
How does it work?
♡Create a creative zone in your home, it can be a quiet corner where you can work and play undisturbed for at least 90 minutes a week.
♡You will receive 12 Assignments via e-mail.
♡A session is usually 90 minutes a week, but you can adapt it as needed, maybe once a month or every 2 months, just as it suits you.
♡The DeLight Art Counseling Course takes about 12 sessions or weeks to complete, but once again you will work at your own pace and own time.
♡We will correspond via e-mail, Skype or snail mail. You will need access to the internet, and an e-mail address. You have the options to either : scan and e-mail OR fax OR post your finished art work to me after each session.
Please contact me for a price list and for counseling fees.
WHAT IS ART COUNSELING?
Art Counseling combines Art and Therapy and provides a creative healing pathway of exploring and expressing thoughts and emotions, and gives visual insight to a patient’s subconscious and behaviours.
It integrates the fields of human development, visual arts and the creative process (e.g. drawing, painting, sculpture, dance and movement, drama, poetry and photo therapy) with models of counselling.
Art Counseling is used with children, adolescents, adults, older adults, couples, groups and families. Either on an Individual basis or in Group Work.
Art Counseling is a Diagnostic and Treatment Tool that can be applied to a wide variety of physical and emotional/mental illnesses.
Symptoms of anxiety, depression, grief, illness and behavioural problems can be reduced through the creative process. Art Counseling enhances any recovery program and it has been used with:
· Children: Phobias and social skills problems, victimization/abuse/trauma issues, loss, abandonment, grieving, developmental or communicational disorders such as autism, parental issues, reading performance problems and burn recovery in young children.
· Adolescents: Substance abuse, oppositional defiant, emotionally impaired young people, burn recovery in adolescents, sexual abuse of adolescents, trauma and depression.
· Adults, older adults, couples and families: Marital and family dysfunction, stress and anxiety, divorce issues, bone marrow transplant patients, people with eating disorders, disabled people, the chronically ill, chemically addicted individuals, caregivers of cancer patients, adults and families in bereavement, patients and family members dealing with addictions, survivors of severe trauma, communication breakdown in relationships. People suffering from stress, patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and terminal illnesses.
Art Counseling programs are found in different settings, including medical centres, psychiatric centres, hospitals, clinics, public and community agencies, wellness centres, educational institutions and schools, businesses, private practices, alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs, prisons, institutions, day care treatment programs, nursing homes, hospices, patient’s homes and art studios.
People involved in art counseling are given the tools they need to produce paintings, drawings, sculptures and other types of artwork. They are encouraged to create freely, changing mediums, if required.
The Art Counselor help patients to express themselves through their creations and talk to patients about their emotions and concerns as they relate to their art. Treatment is often conducted over a series of sessions, with skilful interpretation of the resulting artwork by the Art Counselor, the patient can review emerging issues and explore feelings in a safe and supportive environment.
· Emotional expression, self-awareness and release: Art Counseling is a cathartic and non-threatening way for people to come to terms and reconcile with emotional conflicts. It increases self-awareness and express unspoken and often unconscious emotions, concerns, hopes, conflicts and issues about their illness and their lives. It opens up emotional expression and offers release. Enabling the patient to gain insight, unblock and move forward.
· Creative communication: It provides a non-conventional language to explore and express ideas that the patient may struggle to express verbally, causing the patient to open up verbally when engaged in a creative activity. Images express complex feelings, while words can be limiting. Traumatic memories and experiences are more accessible for processing and release when using visual art interventions than when just talking. It is also an effective way of communicating for those with mental and emotional problems, or learning difficulties.
· Wellness: It reduces stress, fear and anxiety levels and provides a sense of freedom. The act of creation influences brain wave patterns and the chemicals released by the brain, creating a sense of wellness. Stimulating mental and physical activity.
· Socialization and self-esteem: Interactive art projects facilitate communication, interpersonal awareness and socialization. Observing and sharing the art increases connection and creates greater understanding. Practicing new skills increases self-esteem and develops competency, mastery and personal growth. It causes the patient to move into the psychological stage of industry vs. inferiority.
· Problem-solving: The process of creating art involves making decisions, choices and finding solutions, which enhances problem-solving abilities and concentration.
· Pain control: It can help patients whose illnesses or treatments cause pain, by engaging and distracting them, enhancing pain control.
· Enhanced healing: It reduces recovery time and decreases hospital stays. The physical movement, brain and biochemical activity involved in making art supports neurobiological healing.
· Safe environment: Therapeutic activities structure and contain the experience, thus providing a safe and supportive environment for the patient.
· Visual and tactile medium: The artwork is a lasting visual and tactile representation of inner exploration and self-expression. It gives visual insight to behaviours and emotions. The visual medium of art provides an avenue for symbolic and metaphoric expression that can lead to a deeper understanding of personality, experiences, concerns, interests and other critically important facets of an individual’s make-up.
· Healing pathway: It provides a healing pathway to channel anger, relieve depression, to grieve, cope, reminisce and adapt.
Trauma-informed Art Counseling
THE EFFECTS OF TRAUMA
One Person’s Story
☆Who Is Affected By Trauma?
Chances are that whoever you are, you or someone you know has been affected by trauma. To put it simply, the scary, painful and yucky stuff that happens is what trauma is made of. Often, people believe that trauma always pertains to war. Though war is definitely traumatic, there are other events that can have the same effect on us. Verbal, emotional, physical or sexual abuse, being the victim of or witnessing a violent crime, responding to a horrific emergency call, natural disasters, and car accidents are some examples of traumatic events. We all know the stories. Those of people we know– they may be family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, clients, movie stars, musicians, athletes, and people on the evening news. Some of us know the stories all too well, because those stories are our own.
As one who has been through a number of different types of traumatic experiences, I know that hope is the most expensive necessity of life. For people living with the effects of trauma, it is precious and often rare. The account I now share is one of hope. I want to share this hope with you, because recovery is possible. This is the information that I wish I had had when I was on the other side; trying to find the courage to get out of bed in the morning, trying to find the desire to stay alive.
☆What Does Trauma Do?
Different people respond to trauma in different ways: anxiety, depression, mood swings, self-destructive behavior, flashbacks, numbness and phobias are a few examples. I did not understand that this was because of the neurological effect that trauma has on the brain. I thought that I was damaged goods, irreparably broken because something was wrong with me. I was ashamed of myself. I thought that I was ‘wimpy’ and was being overly emotional and self-consumed. I thought that I was simply allowing the past to bother me too much and that I needed to just get over it. I felt guilty for my pain.
I did not understand that trauma can have an effect on the brain that is physiological. This effect is not because of a weakness in the person anymore than it is a weakness in a person that causes a bruise when one’s thumb is hit with a hammer.
When something traumatic happens, the left side of the brain is temporarily out of commission. This is the side that usually helps us make sense of events in an orderly, organized manner. This is the side that lets us know what is in the past, what is going on now, and what is in the future. It is also the side we rely on for solving problems. With this side of the brain temporarily out of the action, the right side of the brain stores the memory. One problem is that, to the right side of the brain, all time is here and now. That can cause a lot of problems when it comes to feeling as if a trauma that happened 15 or 50 years ago continues to be experienced in the brain as though it is going on now. That is why time does not heal all wounds.
The right side of the brain stores traumatic memories in bits and pieces instead of storing it in the logical, linear way the left brain does. All of the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and stimulus information are stored without the story. Unfortunately, this can set up even non-threatening stimuli associated with the trauma like so many land-mines waiting to go off when the stimulus is encountered in the future.
The ramifications of these factors can have terrible effects on the life of the trauma survivor. They can reach into every area of an individual’s life because they can change how the person views objects, events, circumstances, him/herself, others, and the world at large. These results can be bewildering to the person and to those around him or her.
☆How is Trauma Often Treated?
The traditional way to do therapy is to encourage the people to talk about their problems. This is often right, good and necessary. However, it is crucial to remember that the left side of the brain is affected by trauma. Knowing that it is the side responsible for helping us tell a story in words, using talk therapy to process a trauma is like asking a person with a broken leg to walk to the hospital in order to get the broken bone set.
By the time I was 33 years old I had been in counseling for 16 years with various counselors off and on; but mostly on. In 1996, I was misdiagnosed as having bipolar affective disorder, because of the mood swings that I was experiencing as a result of my traumas. There were times that life became so intolerable that I ended up in hospitals where few, if any, tools were used besides medication. A few times I even braved group therapy, though trust issues normally prevented me from doing so willingly. I was a dedicated client, rarely missed appointments, shared honestly, followed as best I could whatever suggestions my therapist would offer, took the many and various medications that I was prescribed at any given time, read, and educated myself. Through all this time, money, effort and pain, the best point I ever reached was one of a tolerant endurance of life. My lack of benefit from treatment and the frustration I saw and sensed in those treating me confirmed my sense of shame, guilt, and desperate frustration.
☆Emotional Effects of Trauma
Throughout this time of struggle I frequently felt out of control. I would feel emotions intensely and long for a break from them. At other times, I would feel completely numb and shut-off and long to feel again. I was frantic to connect with someone because I felt so disconnected from myself. I was desperate for someone to fix me, because nothing I tried seemed to yield much benefit. At times, I was morbidly depressed and could barely get out of bed. Sometimes I felt like I was walking around in a fog observing life from the outside. I was often terribly anxious and wanted to be alone in order not to have to face others.
I felt as if there was a vacuum hooked up to my heart that was sucking all of the life out of me. I felt horrible most of the time; feeling good scared me, because it made those times of feeling bad–which always managed to come back–that much more disappointing. In my shame I believed that others could tell that I was especially defective and I hated how, I assumed, they could see through me. Others would tell me how much I had it together; then I would grieve that no one truly knew me. Life was a river of mindless contradictions and I was swept along in those rapids. I did not know how much longer I could go on. I saw not committing suicide as avoiding the inevitable.
☆Spiritual Effects of Trauma
Quiet moments were not quiet because of all the noise inside my racing mind. I could not remember ever feeling peaceful. I felt like God had forgotten me. I felt like my prayers were not heard and that I was a horrible person because of my lack of faith. I wanted to feel close to God, but I was terrified to feel intimate with anyone in any way, because of my traumas. Because authority had been abused in my life, the idea of One who has so much power was horrifying, but then again, if He had so much power why was He allowing this pain? Again, I would hate myself for my lack of faith, which I assumed was the reason that I was not being healed.
☆Physical Effects of Trauma
The various traumas took their toll on my body. My body became accustomed to surging adrenaline at the least bit of stimulation. My heart would pound, my pulse would race, my mind would go foggy, and I would feel out of control over and over again at such simple things as hearing the doorbell or telephone ring or when passing a car on the highway. The sense of feeling incompetent was not ‘all in my head.’ It was in every part of me. I could feel it acutely day and night. I, unknowingly, had become addicted to the adrenal response and was seeking out drama and danger in order to sustain the highs. Sound sleep came seldom, unless I was completely exhausted and then I would get sick because my immune system was so compromised.
☆Relational Effects of Trauma
Being an adrenaline junkie was draining on emotions, not just my own, but on those of people who cared about me. At times, friends could not take anymore, and people moved. Such experiences would call back memories of earlier abandonment and I would be sent reeling. Life seemed like a never-ending cycle of pain.
☆Effects of Trauma on Work and School
Work of any kind was accomplished only with great difficulty. I was, as I said, often sick; focus was hard to achieve. I experienced desperate struggles in every area of my life, yet I felt like I was fighting with both hands tied behind my back.
If you know someone who has been through trauma, please let them know that there is effective help available. If you have been through trauma yourself, the good news is that you have survived, and the best news is that, with the proper treatment, you can thrive!
Sourced from http://www.traumatherapy.us/treatmenteffects.htm
By Erik Mildes, LMHC, Seattle Christian Counseling
Trauma and the Brain
It is important that we address our brain’s natural response to trauma, and how important it is to work through those experiences so that we can create new pathways and connections in our thought process and our feelings.
So let’s explore the feeling of “threat” from a psychological standpoint. When a person feels threatened, the sympathetic nervous system arouses causing adrenaline to kick in and go into high alert focusing on the immediate situation. Sometimes, the thread can alter ordinary perceptions or needs. For example, people in dangerous situations can easily ignore hunger, fatigue, or pain. Threat also brings about extreme feelings of fear and anger. In her book, Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman reminds us that, “These changes in arousal, attention, perception, and emotion are normal, adaptive reactions. They mobilize the threatened person for strenuous action, either in battle or in flight.”
Judith Herman says, “Traumatic reactions occur when action is of no avail. When neither resistance not escape is possible, the human system of self-defense becomes overwhelmed and disorganized.”
These reactions are what we refer to as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A term once used only for war veterans, is now recognized as a result of any trauma. PTSD affects children, men, and women. Symptoms vary, but it is important to recognize when PTSD is a reality so that one can get help.
There is a saying, “Time heals all wounds.” However, when it comes to trauma, time does not heal all wounds. One simply does not forget the effects of trauma and come out unharmed or unchanged after time has gone by. On the contrary, the effects of the traumatic experience prevail, encouraging the symptoms and unhealthy behaviors.
A person that has experienced trauma may react in puzzling ways in situations that for other people are non-threatening. However, if the environment is in any way similar to the traumatic event, the emotional responses of the trauma take over. Those brain pathways are powerful, and they naturally fire the same responses from the past. Herman reminds us that, “Traumatic events produce profound and lasting changes in psychological arousal, emotion, cognition, and memory.”
Because these connections happen in the brain, they create certain pathways to our thinking processes, how we handle our feelings, and how we respond to situations that are outside of our control. Since those connections result from traumatic events, often times they become barriers to healthy responses. In order to function in life, it is crucial to learn healthy ways to cope with the trauma, as well as create new pathways in our brain that lend us to respond in appropriate ways even when we find ourselves under stressful circumstances.
Counseling can help a person cope with the trauma they experienced. Our brain is powerful, and we often seek ways to protect ourselves from harmful memories. Sometimes, a traumatized person may experience intense emotion without clearly remembering the event, or they may remember everything in detail but feel no emotion. A counselor can help a person make those connections necessary to begin recovery.
If you have experienced trauma in your life, most likely you are living with many symptoms as a result of your painful experience. Maybe you are dealing with depression, anxiety, anger, an inability to form close connection to other people, or a feeling that you cannot talk to anyone about your feelings or the event that took place. Christian counseling can help you make sense of your feelings, and offer you hope for healing. You do not have to live under the dark cloud of the trauma, there is freedom for you, and there is hope.