Ep.7 Shootin’ the Breeze with EACLB

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Hosted by Sue and Kristian, Expressive Arts Collection of Long Beach

Sue and Kristian are licensed marriage and family therapists with their own expertise in different areas of psychology. Sue specifically works in expressive art therapy with those that battle with things such as perfectionism, ego, insecurity, and obsessive behaviors. Listening in as two professionals discuss their experience expressing themselves and helping others express themselves, I learned more about the process of art as a tool. As a self-identifying artist, I often hesitate to share that aspect of myself with others considering I do not make art as often as I feel I should. I now realize the feeling of not being a “real artist” may come from aspects of myself clouded in ego and perfectionism likely stopping me from picking up a medium and creating art. Sue discussed the guidelines for her art therapy groups allow for freedom of expression while also promoting trauma work such as not allowing scissors during session, allowing choice for those to follow the prompt of the day, using at least three mediums, and using the entire session time to complete projects. Sue notes the function of expressive therapy focuses more on the process vs. hyper focusing on achieving a desired outcome. 

The process an individual undergoes while creating art is a direct insight into how they overcome obstacles in their daily lives. The example presented in the broadcast refers to individuals working with Sue stating they hate the idea of not being able to use scissors and instead being encouraged to rip things out. This guideline, as explained by Sue, stimulates her clients to seek refuge in the physical sensation of ripping things up and surrendering themselves to the process of things not being perfect. In moments of protest during the session presents an opportunity to reflect on one’s inner child. I found this very insightful as I have a very lengthy process before being able to sit down and focus on creating. I wondered how this may point towards me requiring having all my needs met before I feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable with myself. I often get exhausted by the process of setting up my area to create that I instead opt to dissociate on the couch while watching Jersey Shore. Moving forward I will begin to allow myself to sit in the discomfort of expressing myself and even if I hate it, I will think back to Sue’s motivational words, “Great you hate it, let’s make art about it!”.  

This episode of Shootin’ the Breeze with EACLB aired live on CityHeART Radio on Aug. 23, 2023 at 10:30am.

Produced and Written By CityHeART’s Art from Ashes Intern Karizzma Torres

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