Darcy Lubbers Somatic, Group and Art Therapist at PCH Treatment Center discusses art therapy, its relationship with treating trauma and the role it plays in helping clients manage psychological disorders.
My name is Darcy Lubbers and I’m a marriage family therapist, I’m a somatic therapist; I’m trained in somatic experiencing which is a model designed by Peter Levine, and I’m trained in focusing oriented therapy which is Eugene Gendlin’s work. And my PhD is in psychology with a sub-specialty of somatic psychology. I also have a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and clinical art therapy.
So the art therapy group that I lead here is a group that really works with anything that the client brings into the group. And one of the main aspects of it as it relates to working with trauma is the ability for self regulation and also to create a safe space for expression of feelings that may be held inside, for example if a person is not in touch with what they are feeling due to feeling a sense of dissociation or what we might call as a flight, fight, freeze state. Then the artwork allows a possibility for that person to touch into those feelings in a very safe way by beginning to draw them.
So in many ways, art therapy in relation to trauma allows for a beautiful bridge for people when they aren’t able to notice or become aware of what they are feeling in their bodies because their bodies have shut down in that way and the artwork brings it forward. And then often people can look at their artwork and begin to notice what they are feeling in their bodies then. So it’s a beautiful facilitator of helping people to move back into their bodies through starting with the artwork.
Darcy Lubbers, MFT, ATR-BC, PhD(c), Art Therapy and Somatic Experiencing Therapist
You can find more information about art therapy as well as the experiential groups and other treatment modalities available to clients at PCH Treatment Center below: