“Art therapy and couples– how does that work?”
Hypothetically, you’re reading this article because you and your partner are struggling, and you’re hoping to find a solution. Maybe the two of you are having trouble relating to and communicating with one another, which is affecting your sex life and the way you interact in general. So you’re looking for an answer to help the two of you. Look no further!
“Hmmm.. Tell me more.”
In traditional talk therapy, the goals of couples therapy are to improve communication, improve intimacy, and rebuild trust. Art therapy has all the same goals, but it works from a slightly different angle: It shows the couple their patterns through the process of making artwork together. In my work with clients, I want to help them see that they’re both looking at the same relationship, but they have two different perspectives. Having a visual of your partner’s ideas creates a more concrete understanding of how you two view things separately. The understanding that is created through the art therapy process will allow an opportunity for the two of you to redefine and redesign your relationship.
“But we aren’t artists…”
Creating art might sound threatening or scary to you and/or your partner. You might be saying to yourself, “But my partner and I are not artists!” Stick figures are welcome, no art making experience needed! In art therapy, what the art looks like isn’t important. The point of it is the shared experience of creating images and building a language of understanding.
Art taps into a different part of your brain and reveals things that talking doesn’t. When you speak, your brain actively filters what you say. When you create artwork, it comes from your subconscious (meaning you can access deeper meaning and awareness). In scientific terms, writing by hand, drawing, and art-making create new neurological pathways in your brain, allowing new ways of thinking to form. Plus, art is a fun, relaxing and pleasant way to do therapy. Some people might be resistant to making art at first; once they try it, though, they usually see that it’s enjoyable and helpful.
“Alright, I’m interested.”
If you want to learn more, you can read about the benefits of couples doing art therapy, the definition of art therapy, learn about art therapy interventions, and read the post that I wrote about the benefits of art- making.
You can read more about Celine Elise Alvarez and her approach to therapy in her bio. If you’re interested in working with her, as an individual or couple, you can schedule online or call us to make an appointment at 323-515-2278.