Trauma and the expressive arts

“Some people’s lives seem to flow in a narrative; mine had many stops and starts. That’s what trauma does. It interrupts the plot. You can’t process it because it doesn’t fit with what came before or what comes afterwards.” 

Jessica Stern

Trauma is often a topic that is not always talked about and yet can impact on people in many different ways; it can impact on how we view the world, in our body or even how we interact with others.  For many people, they may wish to change how the trauma is interfering with their life but are unable to verbalise what happened to them!  Or they are unsure of where to go, or who to see.  Often, people may go on for many years before they are ready to see if someone can assist OR they meet the “right person” or “therapy style” for them.

Over the break, I have been doing a lot of reading and training.  Both on mindfulness which is useful to calm the body down when big emotions or feelings are present, and also on expressive art therapy which can assist in facilitating healing of the brain, mind and body. 

Ironically, whilst I am interested in creative arts – my ability to be creative is quite limited at this present time.  I have commenced this year at mosaics and whilst I really enjoy the process, my work is at beginner level although it is improving with each project. 

Many years ago, whilst working at a Mental Health Service – I got interested in Sensorimotor training as one of my clients was very impacted by trauma and their body hijacked constantly as the mind remembered.  This experience led me to reading many books about how the body remembers the experiences.  I suppose this was my first dabble into body and trauma work.  After reading a few books on expressive arts and trauma – I am embarking on a new journey of sandplay therapy as another tool for my clients to explore and see if this works for them.  It has been described by one person as expressive arts on steroids!

I am really looking forward to commencing this journey and wonder how the bank balance and room space is going to cope as I learn this new therapy!  Watch this space to find out more as the journey continues…….Both in my mosaic work and the therapy.