Artful retreats are based on the principles of art therapy and use art therapy directives to help participants be creative, get in the flow, experience emotions and gain insights. Engaging with the process of art making is a powerful task which helps calming the mind and releasing stress. Within a safe group participants feel supported and encouraged to take risks, explore personal situations and express without judgment.
People don't need to be sick to decide to take care of their mental health. Prevention for the mind is as important as is for the body. Over 3,000 studies conducted the last 19 years show evidence that engagement and participation in Arts has a positive impact on mental health (WHO, What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being?, 2019).
Here is some information about Art Therapy and how it is used in the Artful Retreats.
Art therapy was born in the 60's in the US. Kids with disabilities were the first audience of art therapy which quickly developed to a formal psychotherapy method also for adults. The first adults art therapy healed, were soldiers dealing with trauma, returning from the Vietnam War.
According to the Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association (ANZATA), Art Therapy can help people resolve conflicts, develop interpersonal skills, manage behaviour, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and achieve insight. According to the British Association of Art Therapists, although influenced by psychoanalysis, art therapists have been inspired by theories such as attachment-based psychotherapy and have developed a broad range of client-centred approaches such as psycho-educational, mindfulness and mentalization-based treatments, compassion-focussed and cognitive analytic therapies, and socially engaged practice.
Following Art Therapy's principles the artful retreats focus on the participants' creative process within a trustworthy relationship with a trained art psychotherapist. The focus of the art guided sessions in these retreats is on the art making process, which will evolve around the unconscious and the conscious; on metaphor and symbol. There are no rights or wrongs in this creative process and there is no need for an aesthetically pleasing result. The Art Therapist does not interpret the artwork but will encourage the participants to reflect upon what they've created, and how it relates to themselves. Sometimes using words alone is not enough to create awareness, convey meaning and encourage change. However words in combination with images bring new dimensions in our way of seeing and thinking. When there is awareness, change may occur.
Participating in the artful retreats will at times feel fun, healing, creative, insightful but will certainly not be enough for treating a therapeutic objective which often requires longer treatment. For those who want to continue this mindful engagement and healing with art beyond the retreat could continue with private or group art therapy sessions back home.
During the retreat emotions and memories might be stirred. Please note that, if required, 1-1 sessions can be available outside of group time to help you work through these, for a small additional fee.
Open to everyone. Requires no experience or skills in art making.