This is a ten-part series in reviewing and experiencing through art experiential’s, the book by Cathy A. Malchiodi, The Soul’s Palette, the book we are studying in my Intro to Arts and Healing art therapy course.
Chapter 2: Creativity as a Healing Force
The power of the imagination, the power of courage, and the power of being in the ‘flow’ during the creative process definitely can help heal oneself. It is something that little kids do every day. They play games, problem solve, are fearless in their make-believe, and can even self-soothe intuitively. It tends to be stress and trauma that change that for some children. As a result of reading this chapter, it made me think of the movie/book The Wizard of Oz. How Dorothy had to find herself so she could go home. And she was able to accomplish that healing and growth all while in a very imaginative land.
In that movie, when Dorothy heads down the yellow-brick road, I had always wondered where the brown-brick road led to. I ended up making a mixed-media piece to show that it leads to a magical mirror where one can see their true self as inspired by reading about becoming whole from the unseen aspect. Mirrors make it easy to see oneself. It also takes courage to even look honestly in a mirror. Within this chapter, Malchiodi touched on this with her writing on how the creative process brings healing and attention to the unseen, as well as brings one closer to who they truly are. This made sense because trauma does slow down development, create pain in the body, and even make a person lose confidence in themselves.
There is a lot of appreciation with this chapter bringing focus to a quality of living verses longevity of living in the realm of medicine. That doing creative arts and getting in the flow is parallel to being in a state of meditation. Making clay models helps diminish hand pain for many and even more, gives control over the illness back to the person through the arts instead of, the illness controlling the person.