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Art Therapy

Sonya Z

This piece began as a large bilateral painting on stretched canvas, focusing on the kinesthetic aspect of moving both arms at the same time alongside my breath. I chose colors that I found soothing and used multiple colors on my paintbrush for each brushstroke. After the painting was finished, I noticed that it reminded me of owl eyes, so I followed that intuition and created a large owl body on unstretched canvas to hang below the original piece.

Using bilateral painting helped me ground myself and helped me process the secondary trauma I was experiencing. Working with clients who have experienced a great deal of trauma requires a strong ability to engage in self-care, awareness, and the ability to metabolize and release the experiences of others. Through kinesthetic bilateral painting, I was able to process the trauma held in my body and externalize it in a healthy way. In addition to this large kinesthetic painting, I also engaged in fiber arts as a form of self-care throughout my year in internship. Weaving, knitting, and crochet were ways to engage in repetitive sensory activity and help soothe myself and process.

Title: Wings of Change
Dimensions: approximately 4’ x 8’
Materials: Acrylic, tempera & watercolor on canvas

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