Victoria Park artist shows how art therapy can help overcome trauma

Victoria Park artist shows how art therapy can help overcome trauma

VICTORIA Park resident Dianne Smith wants to show the public how art therapy can help them overcome trauma and other issues in their lives.

The art therapist is holding a series of workshops at the Victoria Park Centre for the Arts during October and November alongside counsellor Joyce de Haan.

Ms Smith said the majority of people who attended her sessions were women but it was open to men as well.

“Art therapy can be great for men, who aren’t always as good at opening up,” she said.

“The sessions allow people the opportunity see things in new ways.

‘The medium at each comes from exploring different materials and depends on people’s situations but could include clay, paint, pastels and body movement.

“Some of the people may be dealing with depression, anxiety or dealing with an illness such as cancer and this allows them to explore their situation and come up with a new strategy.”

Ms Smith travelled to the European Arts Therapies Conference in Poland during 2017, which involved practitioners and academics from 33 countries.

“They hold the conference each year but people from America, Canada and Australia go a long as well.

“There are academic papers discussed and workshops held and you can see what’s happening in the art therapy sphere.

“I presented a paper about the role of the built environmental can have for art therapy, people often think about improving their home for resale and not because it can improve the quality of their environment.”

Ms Smith said art therapy was something that had come into her life in recent years after studying transpersonal art therapy at the IKON Institute in Victoria Park.

“It’s an interesting profession because you are helping people set goals after living with depression or if they going through a relationship breakdown or other issues.”

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