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What is the therapeutic value of art therapy during the Pandemic of 2020?

By Eve Brownstone, LCPC

These images came to me in meditation. I call them Guardians at the Gate.  In meditation, these strong bird-like figures were perched on the gate of a medieval castle. I saw them protecting me and humanity from the Invaders at the Gate: Coronavirus.

 

Invaders at the Gate

I spent time painting first the Guardians at the Gate and the Invaders at the Gate. Then I dialogued with these images. I asked what they wanted me to know. Below are some of their messages. I also had some words to say back.


 

 

Guardians at the Gate (Messages)

You are stronger than you know.

You aren’t alone. You are so loved.

We protect you…….we are many…we are strong.

We are ancient….you are young…..but you can also protect yourself and loved one.

We aren’t going anywhere.

Call your Father. ( A little humor)

You shall not pass!!! (to the invaders)

We are here to protect and teach.


 

Eve Brownstone (Dialogue back)

Thank you for standing with me.

I need some of your strength right now.

I know I am not doing this alone.

Please stand close.

Let there be love.

Take my fear. More Love, please.

I am listening.

 


 

 

Invaders at the Gate (Messages)

We are coming for you.

You will fall.

There is nothing you can do.

We will outlast you. (Dealing with exhaustion)

Give up.

Exhausted yet?


 

 

Eve Brownstone (Dialogue back)

I am exhausted.

What do you want from me?

Still standing.

Still here. No matter what you do.

You are weak and cruel.

Go Away.

You aren’t needed or wanted.

Go!

I have had moments of exhaustion after seven months (March to October) of this Pandemic. Painting through-out has been a saving grace for me.  I’ve painted over thirty paintings and even took a painting class over Zoom. I have encouraged my clients in and out of the session to find a creative outlet.   Painting, drawing, dancing, singing, cooking, gardening, adult coloring books, and more can be therapeutic.

Find something that gets you up and moving and feeling less numb. We can all feel numb and tired right now. The arts get us out of our heads and into positive action. You can show up for yourself and others this way.  I feel very grateful to the images I have worked with, even the “Invaders”. They showed up for me and taught me something about myself. I learned that I can get through this Pandemic.

“Art therapy can be used as a complement to traditional mental health treatment.  The aim is to manage behaviors, process feelings, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase self-esteem.

  • Self-discovery: Creating art can help you acknowledge and recognize feelings that have been lurking in your subconscious.
  • Self-esteem: The process will give you a feeling of self-accomplishment which can be very valuable to improve your self-appreciation and confidence.
  • Emotional release: The greatest benefit of art therapy is giving you a healthy outlet for expressing and letting go of all your feelings and fears. Complex emotions such as sadness or anger sometimes cannot be expressed with words. When you are unable to express yourself, but you desire emotional release, making art may help you to do it.”

Resources to Recover.org

Eve Brownstone, LCPC, Therapist with Symmetry Counseling routinely uses art therapy as a healing modality for herself and her clients. To schedule a session with Eve Brownstone, you can email her at ebrownstone@symmetrycounseling .com or phone 312-768-8762.

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