Doug Amonite, OACCPP
Doug has been a program leader of the Wellspring Art Therapy program since November 2005.
A Program Leader's thoughts on the Art Therapy Program...
There’s always a bit of nervous tension in the air on the first day of the art therapy group. Strangers are being brought together that might never otherwise meet, but for their one commonality… cancer.
Most participants have not drawn or painted a picture since they were children. And many, as children, were criticized or shamed for what they created… and so they stopped.
The art therapy group is a place to reconnect with our creativity, express our feelings, and the impact of our life experiences through the artwork. The art can help us tell our story in a way that our voice cannot… a way that goes beyond simply talking, and into a deeper, more feeling place.
Some have previously engaged in art therapy, while most have not. Those who have not almost always begin apologizing for their lack of artistic skill… and are always reassured by those who have previously used art therapy that creating a pretty picture is not what this is about.
Throughout the group, weekly themes are introduced. There is laughter, there are tears, there is anger, and life is celebrated… all intermingled through the artwork.
What I often hear from participants is, “I didn’t know my drawing had so much to say”, or having just finished a drawing, someone may say, “I just feel better”… and sometimes that’s all we need… just to feel better.