What is Experiential Arts Therapy?
Using arts techniques, experiential arts therapy is an inquiry into parts of yourself, your values, your experiences and how you would prefer to be.
Our arts inquiry is collaborative. You are the expert on your life, you will guide the research. Your therapist walks alongside as a companion to your discovery.
Often when people ask us to talk about our problems, we usually have a story that we are used to telling. We know what happened, we know how we feel about it and we know what things about our life we would like to change.
In contrast to this, in the space of arts we research into yourself to explore what is unknown.
On this journey, you don’t need to talk about any personal details if you do not wish to. It’s not necessary.
The art that you make can explore and express deep inexpressible things for you.
You don’t need to be good at drawing, or making any kind of art. It’s nothing to do with that. There is always a way to express and create even for those of us that don’t feel we are artistic.
You can come to do arts inquiry for any and all reasons. You might have a specific issue in mind, or you might want to explore your creativity, or you might just have a niggling feeling that something is not quite right.
No reason is better than any other. We all have depths to explore.
If you want to explore, and you want someone along for the journey, we would love to join you!
Currently Cara Phillips has availability in the Perth area for new clients.
When I began working with Cara through arts inquiry I felt unable to face my inner world and anxieties and dreaded the thought of discussing my life as I have with psychologists in the past. It was freeing to instead make and create. Every piece of art and part of the process started with my own thoughts that I didn’t know what to make, how to express something or what it all meant. But unlike other therapeutic approaches, Cara’s inquiry process is never about analysing or placing unnecessary meaning on something. I liken the inquiry to following a rabbit hopping from one burrow to another, through fields and grasses. There is a joyful curiosity in the process that can shift mental states you thought were stuck forever and lead you to new discoveries about yourself and your inner world.
Before I found this arts inquiry process, I spent many years seeking help from psychologists, counsellors, even a psychiatrist. I have a background of childhood sexual abuse, and as a result have experienced anxiety, depression, complex post traumatic stress disorder, OCD… All of the practitioners I saw did help to some extent, but I always felt like we were scratching the surface of what was actually going on. When I came to do arts inquiry, I found a new way to not only express what I felt, but to actually explore and examine feelings and experiences that had been forever buried, left in the dark. This process of arts inquiry helped me to find healing that I was never able to find before.