How Art Therapy Changed My Life

(music) This is me. I’m
Christiana, and this is my story of how art therapy changed my
life. My sophomore year in high school seemed to be going so
well. I had new friends and a boyfriend. But I became
depressed. The summer between my sophomore and junior years,
things started turning really bad. I thought I was depressed
because my boyfriend broke up with me, but it took me years to
realize my boyfriend broke up with me because I was depressed.
At the same time, my friends were making bad decisions and I
worried about them. Finally, I ended up at the ER at Children’s
Hospital Colorado and then I started seeing a psychiatrist.
But I couldn’t be honest with him. So he suggested I start
Creative Arts Therapy since I love to do art. I don’t remember
how it was when I first started working with my art therapist,
Katherine, except I didn’t talk with her much. But we always did
art together and it felt more natural than talking with
someone. Eventually I opened up to her as I began to trust her.
Going to therapy with Katherine was like hanging out with a
friend while doing art; a friend who actually seemed to care. It
made me feel better because I could tell her things I couldn’t
tell anyone else. When I started art with Katherine, I was pretty
young and didn’t use a particular art medium so she
offered me different ways to express myself. Nothing was off
limits with her. It was okay to show my anger. She taught me
ways to use my art to express that anger so I could try to
move on from it. Like the time I explained to her about the
massive pressure in my mind. She suggested we try to make the
physical form of it out of clay. So we did. Then I stabbed it
with a tool. It helped me visualize my issues and take out
my frustration physically. We had a lot of fun together. One
day on the way home from therapy, my mom and I stopped at
a shoe store where we found a pair of white canvas shoes. I
tried creating art on them to see how it looked. After that,
my shoe art helped keep me sane. I started drawing with Sharpies
on everything. I’ve embellished about 70 pairs since then–for
family, friends, acquaintances, and myself. All that practice
helped me improve those techniques and helped me feel
more empowered with my art. To this day I still embellish
shoes. I don’t know when I started feeling better, but it
took awhile in conjunction with other things like medication.
Gradually every day became less and less of a hardship. We must
take care of our emotional health every day. And it’s not
always easy. Not every day is happy because life is full of
ups and downs. But I know what when I’m doing what I
love–losing myself in art without worrying about anyone
else–things will be okay. (music)

23 comments

  1. Thank You for Sharing your story Christina. I have posted it on my Face Book page "The Healing Art Studio" as I believe it will help many other people. It takes courage to tell your story … So thank you for telling yours Christina … Daniel

  2. Art is profoundly healing. Emotions which are taught to be held in during childhood or hidden come out to heal the soul. I know. Lovely story!

  3. I wanted to say thank you for sharing your experience. I am a student looking to do a presentation about how helpful art therapy can be when dealing with depression.Something I'm finding is there isn't a lot of people who share their experience with art therapy. So it's very helpful that you've shared your experience.

  4. Art is great I think everyone should do it it is very rewarding whether people think it's useless it is NOT trust me it's gotten me past my whole life I had social issues mental issues and my surgeries as well as my family art is the way to conquer the horrors of life

  5. wow Thank you for your video it is very motivating. I am going to see a psychiatrist but I'm afraid , I also on a heavy emotional roller coaster, you have inspired me to continue living and pushing through those tough times.

  6. Thank you Christiana for sharing, and thank you Children's Hospital Colorado for arranging and uploading this! As we are inquiring into art therapy in our 10th Grade art class, this video is a very meaningful resource to us. We look forward to more videos as this, as it is personal , thus really triggering our empathy, which will then let us gain further understanding into the depth of creative arts as a modality in healing practices. Thank you again.

  7. Cool. Here is my Art Therapy video called "The Cartoon Years" from my child to adulthood. I too dealt with depression growing up due painful changes and drawing and painting got through it. Now, I'm 32 and I am much happier.

    My video link: https://youtu.be/XzSyDHWrFOg

    Relax and Peace.😊

  8. I am an avid #MentalHealthAwareness advocate and performer, and I love this so much. I travel the country trying to bring that awareness on stages, in classrooms, hospitals, and on my YouTube channel, so I get excited when I see other advocates. 💙❤

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