Art Therapy Blog

Conscious Endings: Reflections on 2023

Reflections on 2023 Art Therapy

Written by Samantha Davis

As the year draws to a close, I find myself in a reflective state about the dynamic experiences of the past year – both personally and professionally, which are for me, always inextricably linked. I recently spent a day in nature to contemplate 2023 and celebrate turning the big 50 (see photo above). December is usually buzzing with energy and many people are already feeling burnt out and fatigued....

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Art Therapy, Desire and Creativity

Art Therapy, Desire and Creativity

Written by Samantha Davis

As humans we all have needs, urges and desires! Some are healthy and some are not. Some are easy to fulfil, while others are more challenging. Some are urgent, some are risky and some outright dangerous. Learning to manage desire is part of normal human development.  For me the greatest dangers arise when desire is associated with addiction. Addiction develops when the harmful desires go unchecked...

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What is Art in Art Therapy?

What is Art in Art Therapy?

Written by Samantha Davis

“Sorry I am more of a words person”, a group participant recently divulged as she shared her picture (of words) with the group. It is strange that we feel that we need to apologize when our creativity - which is so natural and organic - flows through us. We somehow feel that it differs from the ‘norm’. This led me to explore and reflect on how the ‘Art’ in Art Therapy can be used...

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Communication and Connection: Then and Now

Written by Samantha Davis

I recently went to visit my father’s childhood home in Muizenburg, Cape Town, which was his family home for 35 years. The part that stood out for me the most was my dad directing me (via Whatsapp video) to “Walk through the entrance, turn a sharp left and slide open the cupboard on the wall…” (Pause) “Can you see the telephone?” he asked expectantly.  And there it was: the 100+ year old...

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What is Art Therapy and How Does it Help People Heal?

What is Art Therapy and How Does it Help People Heal?

Written by Samantha Davis

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to talk about your feelings, or put your feelings into words? How and why does Art Therapy make this easier? Let’s start with the structure of the brain. An extremely simplistic version, no doubt! Picture this… According to research, people tend to have a personality style, or way of doing things that is either predominantly left-brained or right-brained....

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How to Deal with Frustration in the Art Therapy Process

Written by Samantha Davis

Creative time should be fun and easy, right? But what happens when it doesn’t turn out nicely? When busy with a creative project, have you ever felt stuck or blocked, as if you’ve hit a brick wall, and can’t continue? Have you found yourself saying “I can’t do this” or “I am outta here”? Have you noticed self-criticism coming up, or feelings of anger, frustration, distress or exhaustion?...

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Art Therapy and Mindfulness

Art Therapy and Mindfulness

Written by Samantha Davis

There has been an increasing ‘’awareness’’ (excuse the pun?) and interest in Mindfulness over the years. I for one strongly believe in it and try to incorporate it into my life as much as possible. I meditate daily, try to slow down, be conscious and present in doing one activity at a time. But having said all that, what exactly is Mindfulness, Mindful Art and how do you actually do it? Have...

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The Healing Power of Art

The Healing Power of Art Therapy Samantha Davis

Written by Samantha Davis

How does Art Therapy actually ‘work’ you may wonder? “Does the client arrive and just you tell them what to draw?” is a question that I often get asked. Well actually, quite the opposite! I provide a safe space whereby clients can use the room and art materials in whatever way they want. In psychodynamic terms, I work ‘non-directively’ with adults and children, meaning that I allow and...

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