My Road to Becoming an Expressive Arts Therapist

Welcome To My Blog

I love the idea of sharing my stories, ideas and perspectives about the field of psychotherapy and the expressive arts, plus the role that our dreams and nightmares can play in understanding ourselves. I've learned a lot of things over the years on my journey to becoming a therapist – some of them led to success…. some not so much. I hope you find these stories thought provoking and insightful, full of curiosity, not to mention sometimes humourous and hopeful. You may even see yourself in these stories and relate to them on a personal level or you may discover how to avoid certain pitfalls and struggles I have had. You take from them what you will. I promise – they won't be boring.

Please revisit as often as you like and be my companion me on this adventure. Enjoy!
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My Road to Becoming an Expressive Arts Therapist

It has been a varied and eventful life journey that has lead me to this point in my life.

From an early age I had an interest in what made people tick. Friends found me approachable and asked me for advise far beyond the scope of my limited experience at that time. Intuitively I seemed to be able to provide the empathy, emotional support and advise that my friends seemed to need and desire.

It was around the same time that an interest in art began. I would draw animals from story books that I owned, trying to enlarge them to fill the paper while diligently recreating every detail. This seemed effortless and the results were quite successful. The reactions from parents and teachers alike convinced me that I had artistic blood in my veins. My art grades in school were terrific and all my friends considered me to be artistically inclined. Throughout high school I excelled at art but to my detriment, it came easily to me and as a result, I didn’t try as hard as I should. Consequently I was passed over for a scholarship to a respected art college and it was given to a deserving student who wasn’t as naturally talented but applied herself. That was an eye opener.

My father wanted me to become a professional person of some sort; a doctor or perhaps a diplomat. Someone he could be proud of. He wanted me to go to university and study. I did just that but was lost. I didn’t know what to take as my main area of study and chose only those subjects that made sense to me. Psychology and sociology were the only courses that spoke to me. The most exciting courses were in abnormal psychology and criminology. After two years, I chose to leave school only to return ten years later to eventually finish and graduate with a Bachelor of Science. During this time I also enrolled in media arts at a local university where I majored in photography and graphic design. It was during the summers in between that I picked up courses at university in order to graduate simultaneously from both schools and with honours. I am proud of my efforts and achievements and have proven to myself that I can work hard and excel if I want to and need to.

Due to the failure of a marriage and the remaining perception of self stagnation I began to re-evaluate where I was, how I got there and what options and opportunities were available to me. I chose to pursued the almost forgotten skills and love for art. For three years I held down a part-time job, went to art school as well as provided care to my aging parents whilst undergoing a lengthy round of chemotherapy. I was so determined to live my life and not let any obstacle get in my way. Truthfully, it was the lifeline of the arts that helped me cope.

During my studies, I discovered that my inspiration for my artwork lay close to my heart in deeper ways. I derived great joy and satisfaction from making art all but I had come to need something else in my life. Something meaningful and enjoyable that wakes me up in the morning excited with the prospect of a new day. I needed to love my work as well as know that I can make a difference in peoples lives. My interest in why people do the things they do and the psychology behind their thoughts and actions has lead me to look into myself for an answer. How can I combine the two driving interests in my life and find one cohesive direction to take. I needed something else to help me feel like I am contributing to the betterment of individuals and society and working in a field where I potentially can make a difference.

My focus and comfort zone over the years has been in the visual arts, so taking the leap to the expressive arts arena pushed me to grow in this new and exciting way. Many years of dedication and a Masters later I am proud have earned the title of Registered Psychotherapist and Expressive Arts Therapist.

I invite you to continue reading my blog where I share stories about issues I feel passionate about in the realm of Expressive Arts Therapy and related content.

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