Art Therapy for Health

Art Xtedia

Art is therapeutic and is sometimes called expressive art or art psychology that is facilitated by the art therapist, in applying art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, resolve emotional conflicts, further self-awareness, manage performance and obsession, increase social skills, improve reality orientation, decrease anxiety, and raise self-respect. A purpose in art therapy is to get better or reinstate a client’s functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being. Art therapy practice requires information of visual art, the creative process, as well as of human development, psychological, and design theories and methods. It is used as the focus and medium of communication. Almost any medium can be used for art therapy include painting, drawing / sketching, sculpting and clay modelling.

Today art therapy is widely practised in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities, wellness centres, forensic institutions, schools…

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Artist Suffering From Anxiety Illustrates Mental Illnesses As Real Monsters — Trending News

From anxiety to depression to body dismorphic disorder, Toby Allen intended by this artwork particularly to give these intangible mental illnesses some substance and make them appear more manageable as physical entities. “The project originated from imagining my own anxieties as monsters and finding it to be a cathartic and healing process to draw them,” […]

via Artist Suffering From Anxiety Illustrates Mental Illnesses As Real Monsters — Trending News

Art and Creative Writing Group Therapy

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page! INTRODUCTION Earlier this year, I participated once again in art therapy and creative writing therapy sessions with Mind Australia as a participant. Our art therapist facilitator – Vicky Nicholls had us work on a project which required us to create our […]

via Art and Creative Writing Group Therapy – Early 2016 “Altered Book Project” by Karen Robinson — ido art karen robinson

Here’s Why I Openly Talk About Suicide

Here’s Why I Openly Talk About Suicide 


In a previous post, I discussed the connections of being a clinician and experiencing a suicide loss. Two people in my life died by suicide. And, without naming names, I have had multiple loved ones express suicidal ideation, be involuntarily held for suicidal ideation at the hospital, and be hospitalized from the result of a suicide attempt.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Each year, over 42,000 people die by suicide. For every suicide death, there are 25 suicide attempts. (source)

It is estimated that for every suicide there are is 6 people who grieve the loss. Some suicidologists believe this is a conservative estimate. Based on this average, it is estimated that 6 million people in the United States have experienced a suicide loss in the last 25 years. (source)

The biggest barrier to preventing suicide is not talking about it. I truly believe that.

I used to be one of those people who believed talking about suicide increases the risk for suicide, that somehow talking about suicide plants a seed and encourages others to consider suicide. This is not true. In fact, talking openly about suicide decreases the risk for suicide. 

I am very vocal in my personal life about suicide prevention and my personal experiences with suicide loss. I truly believe that talking about suicide is essential for decreasing suicide risk, validating the experiences of people struggling with suicide, and encouraging people to seek help.


Before my own experience with suicide loss, I had the belief that folks who die from suicide are selfish, shameful, weak, sinful. This is the stigma attached to suicide, and we are taught this stigma our entire lives through social messaging. As a result, we internalize this suicide stigma. For those of us who do not have suicide ideation, it causes us to view others with suicidal ideation and others who pass away from suicide with judgement. For those who have suicidal ideation, this internalization of the stigma increases the ideation and deters folks from seeking help.

When a close friend passed away from suicide, this stigma came up for me. I’d been taught that folks who die from suicide are selfish and weak, but I didn’t believe my friend was selfish or weak.  I struggled often with what I’d been taught and what I believed.

One way I have dealt with de-stigmatizing suicide has been by talking about suicide openly without fear, shame, or blame.


Talking about suicide…

…decreases suicide risk.
…decreases suicide stigma.
…eliminates tendency to shame and blame folks experiencing suicidal ideation/folks who passed away by suicide.
…increases possibility for human connection, and, by extension, human compassion.
…increases the likelihood folks experiencing suicidal ideation reach out for help.
…normalizes feelings of suicide.
…normalizes the personal experiences of folks struggling with suicide and mental health.
…makes you a support person for loved ones in your life whom you might not realize are struggling with suicide.
…can be incredibly healing for folks who have suicide loss (as is in my case!)


Stigma is shame. Shame is silence. Silence hurts us all.

Suicide prevention begins with talking about it.

I will never stop talking about it.

Learning about feelings with the ninja turtles! (+ printable)

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At a total of 10 pages, this workbook uses ninja turtle faces to accelerate learning about feelings! On some pages, there is already a feeling drawn on the ninja turtle. On others, the ninja turtle has no feeling face–leaving space for the participant to draw and make the face fit a certain feeling, such as “disgust” or “worry” or “excited.”



Each page instructs the participant to identify the feeling, color the ninja turtle’s face, and to draw and/or write about the designated feeling.

I used this book with a six-year-old client for individual therapy, and it proved to be successful (this client loved the ninja turtles!).

In the end, I used a three-hole puncher and some yarn to bind the pages together and form a book.


You can download a sample (3 pages) of this workbook on my Teachers Pay Teachers store HERE.


You can purchase the full workbook (10 pages) on my Teachers Pay Teachers store HERE.