mental health

Staying Connected

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My previous behaviour when someone has done something that I didn’t like has been to distance myself from them, for days, even weeks, sometimes permanently. I think it was threatening to me that they behaved as they did. Separating myself from them was a coping mechanism. My current therapist is the first person I have learned about staying connected with when we have challenges in our relationship.

Recently my baby’s movements suddenly changed from pleasant tickling sensations to strong kicks and thrusts inside my stomach. It was a shock. I didn’t like it at all. I saw myself distancing myself from my baby. For days I did not want to speak to her or play music to her. I did not want to interact with her. This concerned me. After her birth, I cannot emotionally withdraw from my baby for days just because she does something that I don’t like, especially something which is natural and age appropriate. I don’t want to treat her in this way. I decided to create this image in order to work with my feelings around staying connected with my baby when she does things that I might not like in the hope it will help me after she arrives.

 

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I’m Sorry

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For many years, my inner controlling and punitive parent hurt my inner child. It was only through therapy that I learned that I was hurting myself and gradually stopped. I didn’t mean to hurt myself; it was one of those unhealthy adaptions to childhood situations. As part of my maternity care I encountered an older woman who behaved like a controlling parent towards me, and this triggered my inner child feeling the pain of what I did to her. Through therapy I have developed a more healthy nurturing inner parent and that inner parent has felt a strong urge to say sorry to my inner child. Pictured is nurturing parent me saying sorry to child me. I am sorry for what I did to myself.

 

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Coming To Terms With Having a Baby

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I’m now in the second trimester of my pregnancy. I found the first trimester difficult because I was extremely anxious about having another miscarriage. Consequently, I shut out the reality of the situation. Last week I attended the dating scan and saw that despite my anxieties, the baby is doing fine.

Following the scan, I decided to create this picture as a way of engaging with the realities of my situation – that I am having a baby. I’ve opened the curtains and engaged with what is happening and what is going to happen. Just writing this has set off the tears again! I guess it’s a mixture of anxiety and joy that the dream I’ve held for so long is finally set to happen in six months time.

 

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cheerful Clown

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I created this image an an antidote to feeling very stressed. Whilst trawling through art therapy videos on YouTube I came across a video about clown therapy as a profession. The video talked about using clowns to help children in hospitals. The idea of using friendly looking clowns therapeutically stayed with me and inspired this image.

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Dance in the Dark

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Whilst very stressed I decided to create this simple doll picture as a distraction. This image was influenced by therapeutic doll making videos that I found on YouTube. The idea is that you make the dolls simply, not worrying about lots of neat sewing, and using whatever materials you have to hand. Although I felt in darkness, I still had some sparkle and the energy to keep going.

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A Different Path

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Sometimes the situations that we are born into, or the things that happen to us on life’s journey, lead us to follow different paths to what is considered “normal” in our culture or society. This is certainly true for me.

In the picture, the yellow path is the “normal” path, where lots of people travel.

The colourful vertical path is the “different” path. I wanted to make it more colourful and varied to indicate difference. Some of the elements have meaning: At the top is a cloud with a silver lining containing the words “Making the best of things”; the card symbols are the cards we are dealt in life; the black and white stripes a reminder that things are not always black and white; and at the bottom, the black sheep – how we can feel or appear for doing things differently. I put more than one person on the “different” path because I am not alone in feeling I am on a different path; in fact many people are  on a path that feels different in some aspect of their life.

In the background are planes where the different path might occur: relationships, culture, religion, physical attributes, mental attributes, career, family, reproduction, residence, geographical location.

 

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Express It Loud

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During my childhood I was discouraged from expressing myself and this was quite damaging for me. Over the past year I have started to become more able and wanting to express myself. I have felt sadness at having been shut down as a child, and determined as an adult to be myself more. I created this picture as an antidote to the childhood programming and to reinforce the message of expressing things.

It was important to incorporate noise into this piece. The pink hanging thing is a proper working rattle. In the middle is bells from cat toys; And the push button on the right makes a very loud squealing monkey noise 🙂

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.