BIST members expressed their creativity in a big way at our January community meeting, where clinical social worker Lynne Harford, MSW, RSW showed us the benefits of art therapy post-brain injury.
Lynne shared that she works with many clients who have brain injuries.
“I recognize that [living with the effects of brain injury] is a journey,” Lynne said. “I am honoured to hear and bear witness to the stories of my clients.”
Engaging in art can change a person’s physiology, reduce stress and lead to deep relaxation. Lynne said that these changes can be seen on a person’s brain wave patterns. Art can alter our perception of the world, change how we perceive pain and cope with various challenges. This is why art therapy can be so beneficial.
There are certain myths about art and creativity, including that creativity can not be learned, and that art should only be created by ‘real’ artists. But Lynne stressed that creativity is for all of us. As kids, most of us thought we were great, creative artists, but we lose that confidence as we age.
Tips for getting your creativity on
- Let go of any negative judgments you have about your own creativity
- Jump into the process – forget about the final product
- Don’t over-think your art
- Don’t compare your work with your neighbour’s – this is about expressing something within yourself
- Remember, you are your own unique and creative being
BIST members had the opportunity to work with pencil crayons, clay, paint, beads and pastels. After, Lynne held up everyone’s work, and asked members to describe their piece. As can be seen by some of these samples, we created a diversity of amazing art in a very short time!