Transformative Arts

I’ve been reading “The Creative Connection: Expressive Arts as Healing,” by Natalie Rogers, who is founder and director of the Person-Centered Expressive Therapy Institute in Santa Rosa, California; and is the daughter of psychotherapist Carl Rogers.   I received certification to practice as an Expressive Arts Therapist in 2002, and have been involved in therapeutic arts since my undergraduate days as a hospital volunteer in a pediatrics ward bringing therapeutic play, art and writing to young patients while doing independent study course work related to these experiences.

Since learning feltmaking, soon after becoming certified as a therapist, I’ve found that felting is a natural process for therapeutic art work: the sense of touch — holding and choosing and layering all of those diverse fibers; the visual connection — arranging design elements and moving things around til they look and feel right; the slowness of working the fibers and taking needed time — while exploring thoughts and feelings; the inevitable surprises in the process — finding that what you intended may not be what you get, and that what you get is often more wonderful and subtly interesting than what you were trying to do.  All of these elements of the feltmaking process make the craft a wonderful modality for helping people work through concerns and life themes, and for helping them find healing.

Every time I share my studio and the craft of felting with others — with family, friends, students, clients, visitors, customers — it feels like a gift.  The joy and gratitude I feel about the bounty of fibers in my studio, and the appreciation for those who have taught me the craft overflow and need to be expressed and shared.   Feltmaking is a way for me to share awe and love, longing and transcendence with others.  When I know that my work has touched others, has moved them in some way, has been a source of pleasure or healing for them, I feel blessed.

Published in: on April 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm  Leave a Comment