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Anima Resuscitation: Embracing Creative Arts Therapy for Healing and Transformation

July 1st, 2024

In the years 2020 through 2022, the world experienced unprecedented challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustices, and societal upheaval profoundly impacted individuals' mental and emotional health, including this therapist. For me, a brown Latina working as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in a Broward County alternative high school, these events were deeply personal. Witnessing the heightened anxiety and depression among my clients, particularly young black and brown individuals, compelled me to seek an outlet for my own emotions. This journey led to the creation of Anima Resuscitation, a collection of poetry that served as my creative arts therapy and is now available for others to explore and hopefully find their inner courage to be creative.


The Collections Within Anima Resuscitation

Anima Resuscitation is divided into three collections: the Oxygen Collection, the Unvaxed Collection, and the Feminista Collection. Each section reflects distinct themes and personal experiences during a chaotic period that we all experienced.

The Oxygen Collection: This segment delves into the emotional aftermath of racial injustices and the global pandemic. The murder of George Floyd and the ensuing protests highlighted longstanding racial disparities. My poetry and digital art in this collection channel the pain, frustration, and hope for change, providing a therapeutic outlet and a means of processing these overwhelming events.

The Unvaxed Collection: As a lover of science and an advocate for individual rights, the handling of the pandemic and vaccine mandates stirred complex emotions. This collection captures my struggle with societal pressures, fear, and the need for autonomy over one's body. The poetry and digital art here reflect my battle for clarity amidst the pandemic's chaos and censorship.

The Feminista Collection: A poignant moment in September 2022 marked the start of this collection. Shaving my head was an act of defiance against societal expectations and a reclaiming of my identity. These poems and digital art pieces explore themes of women's rights, empowerment, and the journey to self-realization. It’s an invitation to embrace one's true self and find strength in vulnerability.


What is Creative Arts Therapy?

Creative arts therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process to help individuals explore and express their emotions. It can include various art forms, such as writing, painting, music, dance, and drama. This therapeutic approach allows people to process their feelings nonverbally, which can be particularly beneficial when words are insufficient.

There is no right or wrong way to engage in creative arts therapy. The beauty of this approach lies in its flexibility and adaptability to individual needs. My favorite art quote is, "Art is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable." This underscores the profound impact of creative expression on our emotional well-being.


How to Engage in Creative Arts Therapy

Engaging in creative arts therapy can be a transformative experience, whether you choose to do it independently or with guidance from professionals. Here are some steps to get started:

  1. Identify Your Medium: Choose an art form that resonates with you. It could be writing poetry, painting, drawing, playing an instrument, or even dancing. The key is to find a medium that feels natural and enjoyable.

  2. Set Aside Time: Dedicate regular time to your chosen creative activity. It doesn’t have to be lengthy—15 to 30 minutes daily can be incredibly beneficial. The consistency helps integrate the practice into your routine.

  3. Create a Safe Space: Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can freely express yourself without distractions. This environment should be free from judgment and interruptions.

  4. Allow Yourself to Be Vulnerable: Creative arts therapy is about exploring your innermost feelings. Give yourself permission to express emotions honestly without worrying about the final product.

  5. Join a Community: Connecting with others who share your interest in creative arts can provide additional support and inspiration. Look for local art therapy groups or online communities.

  6. Seek Professional Guidance: If you prefer a structured approach consider working with a creative arts therapist. Programs like Art 4 Healing offer guided sessions that can help you tap into your creative potential.


The Divine Connection to Creativity

As the most Creative Being, the Creator of the Universe, God made us in His image, imbuing us with the power to be creative. While some may be more in tune with this gift, we all possess the ability to create. Engaging in creative arts therapy allows us to connect with this divine aspect of ourselves, fostering healing and self-discovery.


Resources for Creative Arts Therapy

Books: Numerous books on creative arts therapy can provide techniques and exercises. Some recommended titles include:

  • The Art of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing by Bernie S. Siegel

  • Art as Therapy by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong

  • Creating with God: The Holy Confusing Blessedness of Creativity by Sarah J. Christmyer

Online Courses: Websites like Coursera and Udemy offer courses in creative arts therapy, often led by experienced professionals.

Community Classes: If you are in the North Broward or South Palm Beach County area, Art 4 Healing classes with Gabriela Gamprel provide guided sessions that can help you tap into your creative potential. You can learn more about her work here. Additionally, check your local art schools and museums or find events on Eventbrite or Meetup.

YouTube Channels: For more free resources, consider exploring YouTube channels dedicated to art healing, such as:

  • The Artful Parent

  • Therapeutic Art: Healing with Creativity

  • Art Therapy by Creative Counseling 101

Podcasts: These two podcast episodes put art therapy into perspective for me:


Colossians 3:23 (NIV): "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters."



Encouragement and Inspiration

My journey with Anima Resuscitation is a testament to the healing power of creative arts therapy. By sharing my poetry, I hope to inspire others to explore their own emotions and find their path to healing. Whether through reading my book or engaging in creative arts therapy, I encourage you to embrace this transformative process. It's not about creating perfect art; it's about expressing and understanding your feelings in a meaningful way.


Explore Anima Resuscitation and discover how creative arts therapy can be a powerful tool for healing and self-discovery. Together, we can navigate the complexities of our emotions and emerge stronger, more resilient, and more connected to our true selves.


In Service, Faith Hope and Love,

Diana


P.S. If you haven't yet come listen to The Holistic Counselor Podcast



And now for the disclaimer to make sure you understand that YOU are responsible for YOU:


Disclaimer: The content provided on "Liberation Lunes" is for entertainment and informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or mental condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this blog. The views expressed on this blog are my personal opinions and do not represent the views of any professional organizations with which I am affiliated. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, 911, or 988 immediately. "Liberation Lunes" does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the blog. Reliance on any information provided by "Liberation Lunes," others appearing on the blog at the invitation of "Liberation Lunes," or other visitors to the blog is solely at your own risk.

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