While most people associate the condition with army veterans, there are many traumatic events that can cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These events include, serious road accidents, personal assaults, physical or emotional abuse, natural disasters or the death of a loved one. Common symptoms of PTSD include: flashbacks, nightmares and distressing physical sensations (pain, sweating, shaking or nausea). Without treatment these symptoms may impair the sufferer’s ability to eat, sleep or work.
How can Art Therapy help those with PTSD?
Art Therapy, along with other therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy, can be extremely effective in treating PTSD. People with PTSD struggle to process the flight, fight or freeze impulse that occurred at the time of trauma. Art Therapy works to explore the associated emotions of PTSD sufferers and bring them to the surface in a calm and non-judgemental way.
Using mediums such as music, drawing, painting, colouring and sculpting, Art Therapy allows someone to explore bodily sensations and strong emotions with the support of a qualified art therapist. People who suffer from PTSD have an imprint or memory of the trauma trapped in their nervous system. These memories usually manifest as flashbacks, nightmares and disturbing visuals. These memories can be translated through Art Therapy with creative expression of the sensations. This creates new neuro pathways in the brain, which can diminish symptoms of PTSD.
An art therapist will help the person to process their art and uncover the emotions that lay beneath the surface. A trained art therapist can support the needs of each individual and then guide them accordingly.
Suffering form PTSD? Soothe your mind and body with Art Therapy
Vlinder Expressive Arts Therapy offer an effective, creative therapeutic process for those suffering with PTSD. Group Art Therapy has proven particularly effective for those with PTSD as discussions about fear, trauma, experience helps everyone collectively. No matter what past event or experience caused the trauma, all PTSD sufferers share common feelings of panic and lack of control. By consolidating feelings through art and sharing these connections and experiences with the guidance of a therapist, each member can make meaningful progress. If you are open to Art Therapy, and think it could benefit your affiliation, for groups and individuals check out our calendar for group workshops or contact us. Our art therapists are happy to work with you.