FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
“Creative arts therapy is an experiential psychotherapeutic approach utilising arts modalities within a relationship with a trained therapist, attending to emotional, cognitive, physical and spiritual well-being”
ANZACATA (The peak professional association for Creative Arts Therapies in Australia, New Zealand and Asia).
WHAT IS ART THERAPY?
Art therapists use creative, arts-based processes and activities as part of their therapeutic work with clients, to facilitate self expression, communication, self awareness and personal development.
Creative expression has been found to improve health including physical, emotional and cognitive functioning, integrating socially and increasing the overall quality of life, meaning and insight of self in the world.
My approach begins with developing a safe space for you to enter into, or continue on, a journey of self-discovery. I will journey alongside you, in a co-inquiry together, focussing on strengthening meaning, expanding perspective, and developing a connection to spirit and purpose.
I will encourage those I work with to explore their unconscious world and significant internal experiences and patterns, bringing light, awareness and healing.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ART THERAPY?
Experiencing a safe and supportive environment to explore aspects you may normally keep hidden
Clarifying concerns or challenges
Working through and healing personal issues and traumas
Developing strategies to better cope with but are not limited to trauma, anxiety, depression, anger, fear, grief, change, relationship difficulties, or loss.
A sensory safe and mindful environment
Gaining support through life transitions
Self expression when you may not be able to describe how you are feeling with words alone: make the invisible (such as painful emotions and experiences) visible through external expression
Acceptance of all parts of self and assisting to become whole
Renewed understanding of personal meaning and discovery of inner resources
Reconnecting with creativity
Increasing self esteem, self worth and confidence
Developing healthy coping skills
Art making engages the whole brain and can stimulate integration of cognitive, feeling and sensory processes
Self empowerment, strength and an understanding of personal values when making life decisions.
I'M NOT VERY GOOD AT ART, IS ART THERAPY SUITABLE FOR ME?
Art Therapy can be a very misleading term. It actually has very little to do with art but a lot to do with being creative and using activities such as drawing, painting, sculpture, photography and assembling objects as a way of understanding ourselves better.
In an art therapy session there are a variety of materials that you can use. If paper and pencil is where you feel comfortable to begin with, then that is a good place to begin. My role as an art therapist is to support you to engage in a 'creative process' which might sound a bit wishy washy or magical but many people find it a very real way of getting in touch with what is happening for them emotionally.
Art therapy is simply suitable for anyone who would like to inquire into themselves and how they experience the world, discover more about themselves, clear blockages, heal from past experiences, develop and connect with their creativity, or improve relationships.
SO WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM ART THERAPY?
Art therapy can benefit people of all ages, genders, sexualities, cultural backgrounds and socio-ecenomic circumstances. The insights, growth, healing and learning is tailored to the individual needs of the client. The therapeutic process begins from where the individual is at and will be guided by the client, as I will facilitate the discovery process.
My particular style is great for someone who is wanting to explore themselves in the world and who is ready, courageous enough and willing to step into the unknown in order to discover something new.
Art therapy is suitable for anyone who would like to inquire into themselves and how they experience the world, discover more about themselves, clear blockages, heal from past experiences, develop and connect with their creativity, or improve relationships.
There are many other reasons someone may want to explore art therapy, as many reasons as their are individuals. Art Therapy can also benefit those experiencing a range of mental, emotional and physical illnesses, disorders, addiction, trauma, grief and loss.
GROUP ART THERAPY WORKSHOPS
Workshops offer a combination of creative processes to develop a stronger connection with one another in the group, as individuals, to have fun, increase well-being and discover your own creative practices to embody your values and encourage connection and a sense of belonging.
Workshops can be specifically tailored to your group, organisation, school or special event focusing on a particular theme, or just for enjoyment and self-care. No artistic abilities are required.
Creative Team Building Workshops are also available for Corporate Organisations, and are tailored to the requirements and aims of the group. The time frame for the session can be from the standard 2 hours to a full day session, and can be facilitated to be aligned with organisational goals, values and strategic plans.
Mikarla has delivered creative art workshops to organisations and groups across Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast regions, as well as internationally. Options are available to travel and facilitate workshops anywhere in the world. Please contact me for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Mikarla's Art Therapy program provides a safe space for ODYS young people to express themselves in a creative manner. As a person who often finds the worlds 'art' and 'anxiety' synonymous, Mik has a way of promoting fun and inclusivity into the sessions which aids in group participation. Throughout 2020 and the Covid-19 lockdowns, Art Therapy has provided a safe space for LGBTI+ young people and has been a key preventative measure when it comes to issues of isolation and loneliness. With activities ranging from origami to Skribbl.io, Art Therapy has something for everyone and never feels repetitive or boring. I believe that every young person who has attended this group has benefited from it, whether that be through their creative development, or newfound friendships.”
- Noah, 18 years.
“Art Therapy was the first program I attended at Open Doors. I came to Open Doors during a really hard time in my life, with the death of two family members, the breakdown of my first relationship, struggles with mental health, and legal troubles. Through Mikarla’s techniques, I found healing and comfort and self-awareness through freedom of expression. I do not know how I would’ve gotten through that period without Mikarla and Open Door’s help. Since starting at Open Doors I’ve graduated in a degree in Psychology, and volunteer at open Doors in their programs for younger clients. The Art Therapy program helped me work through my problems and go from a kid in crisis to become someone able to contribute to the community and function as an adult. I still cherish and use the lessons I learnt in Art Therapy, and I strongly hope it can continue so others can benefit from this like I have.”
- Nicholas, 23 years.
“I’m 17 years old and I’ve been coming to Art Therapy for a bit over a year now. Mikarla provides us with new and interesting activities each week that range from: making collaged vision boards from donated magazine clippings to painting multiple murals to following Bob Ross painting tutorials (which was just as much fun as it was stressful). No matter what we do, I’ve never left without a smile on my face.
My favourite part about art therapy though, has to be the opportunities it provides for us to socialise with people we wouldn’t usually get to talk to. It breaks down the barriers of under 18s and over 18s and makes a space for us to just be people. I have made some pretty great friendships that definitely wouldn’t have happened without art therapy creating those opportunities and I’m incredibly grateful for that.
Art therapy has helped me more than I can express. I truly can’t describe the miracles that just a few hours a week have done for me in the past year.
I started coming to art therapy in June last year after I had to quit school due to my physical and mental health problems becoming too severe for me to cope with.
I felt like a failure and a waste of time, space and my parents’ money but coming to art therapy gave me some independence, routine and just something to look forward to every week.
It pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to become more confident in myself and my abilities. The small successes of creating something each week, meaningful or not, has helped me to believe that maybe I’m not a waste of space or a failure and I can achieve things. I can’t put into words what that means to me.
Mikarla’s open and friendly presence has never failed to make me feel encouraged and welcomed. She is truly a beautiful human being who welcomes everyone with open arms and a warm smile, no matter what. I cannot thank her enough for her unbiased love and acceptance. She is one of the few people who I have never felt judged by and I really look up to her a lot for that. If you're looking for a role model, you couldn’t find many better. Thank you, Mikarla, for all that you do for us.
In conclusion, the art therapy program and the lovely soul running it are absolutely indispensable in my life. I would not be the person I am today without either of them. So, thank you to Mikarla for all the hard work you put into art group every week and for being someone I feel comfortable being myself around.
And thank you to Open Doors for facilitating Art Therapy and all the other brilliant programs which are essential for so many young people.”
- Camille, 17 years.
“The Pride Art Therapy Program is a really valuable resource for young people. It provides an outlet for us where we can work through issues, get support through tough times, and make friends. I have found it brightens my week and whenever I’m having a hard time, the art therapy group is what I look forward to. Please help Open Doors to keep the Art Therapy group running – it has had a huge impact on myself and the other young people who attend.”
- Ezra, 21 years.
“Art Therapy is such a wonderful initiative. For myself, its weekly presence has always been one of the few things I have to look forward to each week. It has provided a safe space for me to contemplate what is going on in my life without the risk of submitting to negative emotions and thoughts if I don’t want to. This is largely due to our amazing facilitator; Mikarla Teague. She provides an environment that is comfortable, safe, personable, and judgement free. She has made genuine connections with all of us. She creates a space where laughter and emotions are shared freely. Throughout the general sessions we use a variety of media from paper to clay. This could be making collages to exploring what we want our life to be, mood check ins with pastels, or mindfulness colouring in. In addition to this, we have created murals for the Open Doors space. These give us a chance to work collaboratively on an artwork. This requires us to work as a team and to be considerate of other’s thoughts and ideas. For many of us, this resulted in the synthesis of profoundly personal artworks. It gave us a great place to express ourselves. It was also enjoyable to see the progress in others as they grew in confidence and challenged themselves with Mikarla encouraging us along the way. We have all become a tight knit group, a little family, and I am so grateful for it.”
- Marek, 23 years.