Talk therapy, the kind of therapy we are most familiar with. Sometimes it is truly all we
need. To have another hear us and give feedback, or to hear ourselves give voice to
our thoughts. There is a lot to be gained from this process, it can be very effective.
Here in my office, we often augment the process of talk with other modes of
expression, such as the creative arts. This can be very useful, because we may not
know how to put into words what it is that we are going through, or we are perhaps
fearful of expressing ourselves so directly.
Talking is making use of the direct cognitive processes within us. In this process we
learn to listen to ourselves and also to express ourselves better, making ourselves
and those we interact with aware of what we need. In these moments of thought,
interaction and introspection, we learn to listen to others as well. We might indeed
learn from them what it is that we need ourselves; we might help them in the process.
Art is a language, with a vocabulary of its own. When we make art, we are giving voice
to another part of ourselves. The shapes and the way that we draw or paint them
gives us clues as to how we relate to something or someone; how we feel about
something we may not find ourselves able to put into words.
Sometimes the art is very abstract, sometimes it can be quite literal or symbolic.
However it is done, it is not our aim to make good art. Rather, it is another way to
express ourselves. For some, making art comes naturally. For others, it may easily
draw them out of their comfort zone. For me, there is always information to be gained
from this process and the end result.
Yes, sometimes it is true, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
Play speaks to us all, and sometimes nothing seems to do it for us except to let
ourselves play for a while. There is much information to be gained from how we play:
the objects we choose, the landscapes we build, even the order in which we build
things. We may use legos, we may use a collection of stones; or perhaps a few
pieces of wood. If we allow ourselves this fine pastime, we can see a tangible form
take place, a representation in some way of the inner world we inhabit.
Play is much to be treasured, and not only for the young. With our levels of
seriousness and responsibility, we may indeed need this activity much more than our
young contemporaries do.
And play is also very kinesthetic, we find that we thrive on the richness of the textures
we encounter. And after all, who doesn’t like legos?
Whatever we call it, be it journaling, creative writing, free writing, poetry or a stream of
thought, there are stories within us. Sometimes, they need to be told. Perhaps to be
shared, perhaps not. Sometimes we share the content, other times we may look at the
way that we have written, searching for some insights to our thoughts, now expressed
upon the paper. We find that if we can quiet the internal editor just for a bit, some wisdom
may emerge. There may be magic within us, just waiting to be heard.
They say that whatever story we write or create, some part or aspect of ourselves will
make itself known to us.
We do not write with the purpose or hope of creating something commercial. That would
be too great of a pressure to put upon ourselves. No, we are writing to express how we
feel, perhaps to capture a thought that has been eluding us.
Music is one of the most pervasive things in our culture. And, in our lives and in our minds.
Few things can summon memory so easily as a song. Sometimes, we give the gift of a song to
another. And sometimes, we accept it for ourselves.
Music can be enjoyed in so many different ways, and in so many different levels of
involvement. Sometimes a clear statement from the soul, sometimes a heartfelt sadness or
triumph of the spirit. We use music to indicate how we are doing, be it joyful, or be it with
sadness. Music can also be a force that changes us, sometimes quickly and easily, like a
favorite tune that gets us up on our feet so that feel we must dance and celebrate the moment.
At other times, it calls to us gently, reminding us to relax and enjoy a time of peace and quiet.
How we express ourselves with music can tell us a great deal about
ourselves, be it what or how we play, or perhaps just the choice
of what to listen to.
|Ken Ostercamp, LPC
M.A. Ed. Counseling
B.A. Fine Arts
Design and 3D Modeling
My Specialties In Counseling: (Modalities used)
|201 West Broadway
Building 3, Suite I
Columbia, MO 65203
(in Broadway Professional
Park, across from the library)
an approach to ourselves that involves challenging the automatic thoughts (assumptions) that we
make about the world around us. These unserving and sometimes dark thoughts tend to make us
feel worse and worse, sending us on a downward spiral towards depression.
a way of learning to center upon and be as fully present in the now moment as possible, reducing
the stress in our life caused by anxiety and depression.
as mentioned above, a way to communicate that does not rely solely upon words. This is often used
in conjunction with talk therapy.
Visualization and Imagery
CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
Expressive Arts Therapies
a process of guided visualizations and maginations, allowing us to communicate more directly with
our unconscious mind. This allows us to relax in a fuller way. Another benefit is the clearer setting
and following of the path we choose for ourselves.
I use components from Gestalt to allow us to stay in a creative mode, and to stay in the present
moment. We do experiments, sometimes in a spontaneous way. We learn how we are responding to
the world and others in "real time" through role playing and our imaginations. We learn not to ask
the question "why" so often. Rather, we ask "how". This small difference can be quite empowering.