My life is basically one continual art therapy session. When I am agitated or crabby my husband will often say “You need to make something”, knowing that creating helps me get to a better emotional space. Art therapy at the psych hospital was an interesting diversion from the regular group talk therapy even though the art room supplies looked like they had been mauled by hundreds of grade schoolers. However it was decent entertainment and the art room was my favorite place to be on campus.
One day the instruction in therapy was to create your “internal monster” out of modeling clay. Basically we were to put shape and form to the internal battle within us. One very crabby and extraordinarily entertaining older lady rolled her clay into a long snake and coiled it up neatly.
When it came time for everybody to take turns describing their art, the sweet, well meaning art therapist asked the lady. “Does that represent your father coiled and ready to strike out in anger at you?” “NO!”, the patient snapped. “It represents the easiest thing to make with clay!”