PCH Arts Program

Whether it’s a bowl shaped by hand from earthen clay, an expressive self-portrait, or a song that finally puts into words a painful event from the past, the process of making art can be freeing and emotionally healing.

pottery clay therapyDecades worth of research and experience that tell us how psychologically valuable the arts are in a therapeutic setting, especially for those dealing with depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, and trauma or PTSD, among many other common mental health issues. Art therapy allows for an uninterrupted expression of feelings, and outside of official therapy sessions, provides a healthy means of self-expression.

From our own experience working with clients, we’ve seen firsthand how engaging in the creative process can become a powerful tool for individuals to identify, explore and ultimately transform their emotional and psychological difficulties. Using experiential arts as a compliment to psychological counseling offers many specific benefits. Art can provide important tools:

  • Promote self-expression, self-awareness, and self-esteem,
  • Help with self-regulation
  • Interrupt ruminative cognitions
  • Help individuals develop coping skills for stress, trauma and loss,
  • Provide a means for nonverbal communication and emotional release,
  • Stimulate and organize thought processes, and
  • Enhance social skills and family communication.

Primarily taught by fine artists (not therapists), our treatment center offers three different experiential arts options: pottery, drawing, knitting, creative cooking, painting and songwriting. Individuals choose workshops that are of most interest to them, and no prior experience is necessary. All of these workshops encourage creative expression and healing in an open and supportive environment.

Pottery

“Throwing pots on a wheel was one of the major perspective shifts in my life. I grew up in a conservative Christian household, and was used to biblical references to God as the potter, and myself as clay. This always seemed graceful and elegant, until my first experiences trying to center the clay on the wheel… when I realized it’s nothing like simple nudging… as a potter, I had to brace myself and shove and nearly strangle the clay to get it to center, balanced. It’s a metaphor I’ve kept– centering, balancing myself is not an effortless thing. But with hard work, loveliness can develop. I’m excited to hear it’s something you hope to add to your practice, and glad you’re in the business of helping people center their metaphorical clay.”

Anelecia Hannah ~ Artist ~ Bo Bartlett Studio

Working with clay is an intuitive and soothing art that places emphasis on concentration, focus, patience, and problem-solving. Pottery class serves as a
non-judgmental space to practice and hone these life coping skills, and is a place to fully engage in the art of self-expression. Creating something, whether it’s a mug, bowl or statue, from what was once a lump of clay can be viewed as a non-verbal metaphor for the work involved in creating and shaping a new life.

Our pottery workshop is partnered with Full Circle Pottery, headed by Liz Rosenblatt, a licensed clinical psychologist which is located two buildings down from the PCH Treatment Center clinic.  Clients can participate in our weekly group session and schedule independent sessions as they desire.

Drawing

PCH Art Drawing ClassExperiential arts therapies are grounded in the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.

We often see all of these things happen through the simple act of putting pencil to paper. Drawing can be a non-verbal way to “talk” about our feelings through the images we choose to create. It can be used to narrate past traumatic events as a way to finally give release to these events. Drawing can also express happy memories and thoughts and feelings about important people in our lives. Drawing can reveal things about ourselves that we never knew, and it can express to others, including friends and family, what our true feelings really are.

There is such freedom in drawing, and that’s really the goal. In the judgement-free and supportive setting of the treatment center, our instructors work with individuals to let their creations flow from the heart.

Songwriting

Music provides a direct link to that place inside of us where our deepest feelings and innermost thoughts exist. The art of writing songs can help individuals tap into and express this deep well of emotion. The process of turning our ideas, beliefs, and experiences into song can be incredibly self-affirming and healing. It’s also another tool that can be used to enhance therapist communication, as well as provide a means for individuals to better express themselves to their friends and families.

Knitting

The rhythmic repetitive movements of knitting are known to induce a meditation-like state. Knitting produces a calming effect that can help a client center themselves, removed from ruminative cognitions.  Knitting is known to lower anxiety and stress levels.  It is a skill which is easily learned and can be picked up at any time to help a person self-regulate themselves.

Creative Cooking

PCH Treatment offers a weekly cooking workshop at the Grandview Residence.  Clients learn different cooking techniques such as baking, grilling, and food preparation.

We often see all of these things happen through the simple act of putting pencil to paper. Drawing can be a non-verbal way to “talk” about our feelings through the images we choose to create. It can be used to narrate past traumatic events as a way to finally give release to these events. Drawing can also express happy memories and thoughts and feelings about important people in our lives. Drawing can reveal things about ourselves that we never knew, and it can express to others, including friends and family, what our true feelings really are.

There is such freedom in drawing, and that’s really the goal. In the judgement-free and supportive setting of the treatment center, our instructors work with individuals to let their creations flow from the heart.

Songwriting

Music provides a direct link to that place inside of us where our deepest feelings and innermost thoughts exist. Music therapy and the art of writing songs can help individuals tap into and express this deep well of emotion. The process of turning our ideas, beliefs, and experiences into song can be incredibly self-affirming and healing. It’s also another tool that can be used to enhance therapist communication, as well as provide a means for individuals to better express themselves to their friends and families.

Please contact us for more information, and to discuss the specifics of each therapeutic offering.

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