The Creative Arts as Therapy
The Arts as therapy
(music, visual, etc.)
What first comes to mind when someone mentions the "Arts" as
a form of therapy is an image of dysfunctional sorts sitting around
half-heartedly fumbling through some bizarre version of Basket weaving 101.
Well, things have changed a good bit since those days and now there's an
incredibly rich variety of therapies to choose from in this field. There's
motion therapy, dance therapy, free-form artistry, mime, and a plethora of
others. While all of these can be found as part of the hospital regimen
today, it is much more important to incorporate them into your own version
of a wellness program. Make this and some of the following subsidiary
therapies a part of your ongoing effort to maintain an even keel.
Get involved with the muse, bipolars tend to be amazingly creative
folks anyhow, so many of the arts appeal to them and make natural outlets
for release and expression. Pick up a camera, go to the opera and learn
all its many nuances, learn to play an instrument, write...and I mean
Writing of poetry and prose is perhaps one of the richest, simplest, and
most cathartic of all the arts, and all it takes is a pencil and paper at
the minimum. I encourage you to read some of the work on the site here.
You'll find it by following the dragon. Don't be surprised if you find
yourself nodding in silent agreement with some of the breathtakingly
beautiful and poignant thought there. [LINK] to creativity pages.
Just a quick word about listening to music. Everyone knows that
some music can hype you up, some can soothe you, some make you feel
silly or happy and some can depress ya terribly. It goes without
saying, pick your music to suit your mood, but be aware at all times
at how you are feeling emotionally and physically. Sad, slit-your-wrist
music can help you
get in touch with things lurking below the surface of consciousness
that often are inexpressible, but once you've touched them for crying
out loud get someone qualified to help you sort through what emerges.
Often talking to another
bipolar is helpful, but just remember--music
cannot talk for YOU--you have to do that part. Don't think
that playing a song over and over will necessarily get your message
of pain or fear across to another human being. It might, but then
again, most likely it won't. Relying on others to decipher your
hints of impending doom or catastrophe via your music choices, your
cryptic remarks, poetry or your histrionic behaviours is more than
a bit risky. Start now to learn how to spit out what you feel and
think in gutsy, straightforward terms--don't leave'um guessing.
Your life is worth way too much for that kind of game.