Creative Therapies

This is an exert written by Brielle Poulter (Let's Get Cozy Co-Host) from her master's class in social work.

Creative therapies can be anything - usually, a form of movement one enjoys. I’ve been doing yoga most of my life but still never heard this term and found this to be extremely valuable. No matter how many years I do this or how much experience I have, I will always want to enter a situation with the mindset that new and spontaneous things are possible in treatment. It’s effortless to get caught up thinking that we know everything, especially in this field, when the ego is involved. For me, this past year and starting to do therapy has really forced me to surrender to the knowledge that it’s impossible to know everything and only possible to know what you know and focus on creating the relationship first. I’ve had to release the ego and recognize that a lot of this stuff isn’t coming directly from me but through me, and it’s not about being validated as a therapist but creating a safe space for others.

I also loved the conversation surrounding judgment thoughts. When you talked about the girls who would come in and have a lot to say about how the other girls feel about them, I laughed internally because that exact situation happened to me the night before class at work. I work in a residential treatment center for adolescent girls as a psych tech, teaching me a lot about this population I ultimately want to work with. These three girls were all having problems with each other, and when one was alone with me, she brought up how the other girls hated her and shunned her and don’t even include her in conversations. I had a conversation with her about how most of the time, the way people react to us is not personal, and we can’t know what’s going on in their heads. Sometimes, other people are triggered by us for no apparent reason, and that we will have to learn not to take that to heart. I love having this tool of challenging judgment thoughts now to take that to these girls at work and onto my future in my career.

The reading on how creativity works in the brain highlights many points I had inferred but not viewed any evidence to back them up. Kids in schools have minimal opportunity to exercise creativity. Still, ample opportunities to participate in standardized testing is definitely something I had guessed and am not surprised to see it’s true. I loved that the reading analyzed what actually is creativity and who has it, the answer to that being everyone. I agree that humans are inherently creative, even if we don’t consider ourselves to be so in a traditional sense. It was interesting to read that creativity includes working memory, and engaging with creativity includes using our preconceived experiences of human life even if we aren’t aware of that.

The reading about trusting the process highlighted that through art and creativity. We can transform our relationship with our discontents by engaging in the sphere of co-creation with them. I loved that throughout the reading, it talked about the importance of engaging with the work as you’re learning how to teach these tools to other people. Even though that seems slightly self-explanatory, I think it’s much less common than therapists would like to admit for us not to do our own inner work before we sit down with others. So the notion of doing your own inner work first is something that I value and think is extremely important. I also love the idea that to really step into our creativity, we have to believe we can make something significant and worthwhile.

Stay Cozy,

- Hannah and Brielle

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