People can change in different ways over the course of their lifetime. While it varies by individual, some people may not change drastically over the course of their life, but some people do make drastic transformations…sometimes more than once!
There are too many possibilities to list every reason why or how people might change, but it’s important to understand that we all go through changes and transformations in our lives. Big or small, these transformations help contribute to who we are as a person. Sometimes the changes happen without us realizing we’re different until after the fact. But what about when transformations are deliberate and we want to make a change within ourselves? Transformational art therapy might be beneficial…let’s call them past transformations/changes and future transformations/changes. First, let’s look at what we mean by transformation and change.
What Are Past Transformations & Life Changes?
Past transformation is an event or experience that has already happened, resulting in a change or transformation in the individual. There are all sorts of experiences that can alter a person’s mental or emotional state. For example, the passing of a family member, divorce, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, a traumatic event, etc. Change doesn’t have to be the result of a negative experience though. Transformation can result because of a visit to another country, meeting someone that has a positive influence on you, falling in love with someone, general praise and care, etc.
What Are Future Transformations & Life Changes?
Future transformation refers to an individual wanting to change something about themselves. Maybe you want to be a better listener, learn a new skill, overcome a fear, etc. While it may not always be the case, future transformation usually refers to a “problem” the individual wants to address within themselves. Sometimes these transformations are better-assisted with the help of a professional therapist, and sometimes it just takes action on the part of the individual.
What Does Art Therapy Have to do With Transformation & Change?
Transformational art therapy can help depending on what type of transformation (past, future, both) you want to address. With past transformations and changes, art therapy may provide further insight into the cause of your transformation or how that change has affected you today. For example, if you recently lost a family member or someone close to you, then creating art based on that tragic event can be therapeutic. With something as serious as death, it’s also a good idea to consider professional art therapy with a certified art therapist.
But let’s look at a more positive example of change…say falling in love with someone. Sometimes it’s not always easy to communicate heightened emotions through words. If you’re like me, you may not be as eloquent with expressing those types of feelings with words. Well, art therapy can be a great way to channel those feelings into something creative that expresses your feelings in a personal way.
Transformational therapy, or in this case art therapy that addresses future transformations or life changes, can be beneficial in numerous ways. Let’s say you have been sad lately and you want to be more happy. You can use art therapy as a way to focus on the positive things in your life. Or maybe you want to focus your creative energy into what’s causing you to be sad. There’s all sorts of ways you can use art therapy to concentrate on things you want to change. It might just be the kick start you need to take action and make the changes you’d like to see.
When Past Transformations Intersect with Desired Positive Life Changes
Another interesting cross-section of transformational therapy, or art therapy geared towards life changes, is when a past transformation and future positive life change intersect. There are many times that a past negative life transformation or experience results in the desire to make a positive life change. For example, sexual abuse can have serious negative effects on an individual. Usually, there is a desire or a need for this individual to work towards a positive life change, transforming his/her mental and emotional state. And don’t forget, it’s important to consider professional therapy and seeing a certified art therapist.
Stay tuned as there is a follow up art therapy activity related to this article 🙂