Art, drama, music, and dance can bypass the speechlessness that comes with terror. Dancing, singing and acting release feelings, energise the body, and evoke community spirit. Drawing, painting and writing evoke imagery and metaphor. Creativity and therapy overlap: what is creative is frequently therapeutic and what is therapeutic is frequently a creative process. Acting is an experience of using our body to take our place in life. Collective movement and music create a larger context for our lives, a meaning beyond our individual fate. Language, dancing, acting, and singing are uniquely human ways to create a sense of hope and courage.
We can all cut ourselves off from the truth of what we’re feeling. Acting involves not only feeling deeply but conveying that feeling to the audience, giving voice to emotions, taking on and embodying different roles. Traumatised people are often afraid of conflict, of ending up on the losing side again. Conflict is central to acting: inner conflicts, interpersonal conflicts, family conflicts, social conflicts, and their consequences. Trauma is about trying to forget, hiding how scared, enraged, or helpless you are. Acting is about finding ways of telling the truth which requires pushing through blockages to discover your own truth, exploring and examining your own internal experience so that it can emerge in your voice and body on stage. Actors access a full range of emotions and physical sensations that not only put them in touch with their bodies, but also let them explore alternative ways of engaging with life.
Another effective way to access your deep inward feelings is through writing to yourself, to let yourself know what you have been trying to avoid. When you write to yourself, you don’t have to worry about other people’s judgment, you just listen to your own thoughts and let their flow take over. Later, when you reread what you wrote, you may discover surprising insights. With “free writing”, you write the first thing that comes to your mind as you look at an object in front of you and then keep going without stopping, rereading, or crossing out. You can use any object to initiate a stream of associations. Writing about upsetting events can improve physical and mental health: putting experiences into words promotes healing.
Some clients prefer to “free draw”, maybe even using their non-dominant hand, not focusing on creating a perfect picture, but fully experiencing the process of allowing their right brain to express itself as it wants to. Other great ways to access creativity include cooking, flower arranging, photography, knitting, sewing, crochet, decorating, poetry, gardening and interacting with the “other than the human world” (nature and animals).
I offer a free initial telephone conversation, giving you as much time and space as you need to consider whether you’d like to come and meet me.