In tonight's class we tackled negative emotions and used a bit of art therapy to work through it.
On the whiteboard there were two headings 'Negative' and 'Positive', underneath each one we all wrote what particular thoughts and feelings where being felt/thought at the time. It was interesting to see how easy it was to write under the negative heading and not so easy under the positive.
Here is what we came up with, in its diagrammatic glory (Click to biggify it)
After we had finished writing up things on the whiteboard, it was time to get stuck into some art therapy. This entailed getting some paper and a whole feast of art supplies, then attempting to draw how your are feeling or how a particular negative thought makes you feel.
I choose some colouring pencils and charcoal as my medium of choice, whilst others went for paint. Our tutor encouraged us to work in silence and then put on some chillaxing music.
My negative emotion (click to biggify)
I also had time to do a positive drawing too (click to biggify)
Then it was Personal Development time, which I have nicknamed the Circle of Doom, due to the uncomfortable nature of sitting in a circle without any physical barriers to hide behind. This was an opportunity to look at how the art therapy impacts on a deeper level. As you can tell by my blog, art therapy is something I am really being to enjoy. I have always been uncomfortable talking about my emotions, so the opportunity to put it all into pictures was and is very useful to me.
The lesson itself was great today, I got a lot out of it and it also showed me some of the barriers that art therapy may throw up for clients. Some people just don't like drawing, as they feel like they are no good at it. So art therapy my be very cathartic for them to do? maybe. In tonight's class, it was the most simple drawings that said the most. The combination of working on our own, whilst listening to music, also allowed me to really get into it. Art therapy definitely excites me and the more I look into it, the more I see a potential career path.
Although the class was for the most part great, unfortunately it did not stay that way. As the circle of doom (PD group) encourages people to be honest about everything, especially the group dynamics, this can occasionally cause some upset. Tonight it was my turn once again to be upset, as it seems one of the folks in the class does not feel safe disclosing stuff of a personal nature. This in particular was directed at myself and another class mate. To say that I was upset was an understatement, I was flabbergasted, angry and hurt. Whilst on one hand you applaud someone for being brave enough to say that something is making them feel uncomfortable, but on the other I thought 'What about me and how I bloody feel'. This counselling diploma is very intense and I understand how vulnerable you can feel. The group dynamics is very important, as they are your support network. It was being singled out as untrustworthy, I think that is what hurt the most. I would never betray anyone's confidence and I certainly do not gossip about any issues brought up in class. I know I don't need to defend myself, but yet I still feel the need to. So then the time ran out and I was left feeling like shit. This will now have to be sorted out in the next class.