Suicide deaths and attempts are alarmingly increasing in number every year both in the youth and adult groups. In fact, research shows that it is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
Art has been defined by so many people in so many different ways. Some may adapt the dictionary definition of art and state that it is a creative skill. Others may get quite emotional and devotedly express “Art is life; without it, I am nothing.”
You might have heard of art therapy and how it’s lauded as one of the most effective tools for healing from mental disorders and emotional instability. But you might doubt if this form of therapy fits an inartistic you. Well, art therapy is more than just painting and drawing. Read on to find out more about it!
Group therapy doesn’t have to be discussions about feelings and personal experiences. There are several ways in which you can spice up your group therapy sessions. Read on to find out different exciting ideas on how to make the group therapy more fun and productive. Psychotherapist Ali Miller, MFT said, “[T]here is encouragement to both talk about your life outside the group and also to talk about the dynamics within the group.”
- Art Therapy
According to a study, art therapy was successful. This therapy has helped its participants in the areas of perception, personal integration, emotion regulation, behavior, and insight and comprehension. “Art Therapy gives voice to clients’ experience and stories, as well as provides empowerment for their lives,” says Elena Lamaak, MA, LMHC.
Holding a group art therapy is not as difficult as it might seem. You and your group may hold a painting session or a pottery class. Art has been a frequently used mode of expression for people. In art, participants can express their emotions and experiences that they couldn’t do so in words.
Centering on culture can be a great way to start your group therapy sessions. Discussing culture can promote tolerance, challenge perceptions, and learn more from each other. Interestingly, researchers found out that some cultures are more friendly to mental health and illnesses than others.
If you want to discuss different cultures in your group therapy, host an adult version of a show-and-tell. To do this, ask your participants to bring a token that represents their family culture or history. Then, have each one of the participants explain what these tokens mean. You can also give a portion of the time for the participants to ask questions to each other.
Music brings everyone together, so this is a good idea to start your group therapy session. Similar to art therapy, music therapy allows people to express their thoughts and feelings that couldn’t usually be expressed in words. Moreover, it is found that music actually reduces stress. Before, it is believed that music strengthens bonds, connects people spiritually, and fosters group cohesion. “Music has such a large impact on our lives! It crosses cultures, age groups and has an effect on everyone. It can make you smile, dance, sing, cry, instantly recall memories like they were yesterday and process emotion.” As explained by Abigail Saneholtz, Psy.D.
To start a music therapy, just bring a guitar and let the music do its thing. You may sing popular songs or make your own lyrics. Encourage your participants to bring an instrument of their own. Also, try to give compliments along the way. Some participants get shy because they think they’re not good at singing or playing the instruments. But, most of the time, that’s not true.
This is an activity from the Lesley University. Lifeline is an activity that lets participants review their life and see how far they have come. It is effortless to do and only requires a pen and a piece of paper.
To do the activity, a participant must make two points on the paper, labeled ‘birth’ and ‘now.’ They must be connected by a straight line. On that line, identify three high points and three low points of your life. Then, join these points with a zigzag line. After accomplishing this, have each of the participants explain what they drew and what it means to them.
This is a fun activity that allows each participant to reflect on what the right thing to do is. First, have your participants discuss Kohlberg’s six stages of morality. Then, make a book of laws regarding this discussion, including at least one page on these topics:
- World Laws
- School Laws
- Society Laws
- Romantic Relationship Laws
- Friendship Laws
- Self Laws
- Family Laws
There are several ways to make your group therapies more fun and effective. If you are looking for more ideas, then don’t hesitate to try one of these methods.
According to Marla W. Deibler, PsyD, “It’s ‘normal’ to experience some degree of anxiety when stressors are unfamiliar, unpredictable, or imminent.” Anxiety is very evident in young professionals. These young professionals are struggling to find contentment and happiness in their work in the era of social media.
Are you one of those people who was thrown into the cruel world after graduation, with no chance even to find your place? If you were struggling with finances as I was, you will find yourself lucky if you were able to find any work that would give even minimum salary.
Once you open your social media account, you instantly become envious of the posts of your friends who had it better financially. Your anxiety builds up when you see your friends chilling out at the beach and living the jet-setter life, while you’re still stuck in the office. Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist explains the scenario by stating, “Think about what our devices have done to the fabric of our society. When you go to a restaurant, you’ll see an entire family on their phones. While I’m sure [the rise in social anxiety] is a combination of many factors, I think all of us intuitively understand that it has something to do with technology.”
You’re working for five years already but you feel as if you’re already lost twenty years of your life. At the end of the day, even after giving your all, you feel that you’re still at the bottom of the food chain. You’re feeling burnt-out because of pressures from your boss and co-workers, and there’s a bleak chance at promotion.
How can you alleviate anxiety in a world that glorifies only the best? How can you be your personal best at your own pace? Read up and know how.
Maintain Work-Life Balance
You should be able to strike the right balance between work and your personal life. They say all work and no play makes a person dull.
- Enjoy Your Weekends!
Are you always the last one to leave the office? Are you accepting calls from your superior even after office hours? Scared that you will be laid off if you don’t receive work on the weekends?
Think of your personal welfare first. You should be the one to set limits. No one will be able to fight for you unless you do it yourself. Use your weekends to recharge and engage in activities that excite you. Working even on the weekends will increase your anxiety and make you susceptible to burnout. “A number of studies have shown that taking time away from the job can have physical and psychological health benefits. People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals.” That is according to Shannon Torberg, PsyD, LP.
- Reconnect With Family And Friends
When was the last day you were out with your friends? Without really thinking about the pending work you have at the office?
Appreciate the time spent with friends and family. Live in the moment! Don’t spend too much time on social media and being anxious about taking the best pictures. Or thinking about the pending work at the office.
Seek Expert Advice
Upon starting this journey towards a better you, it is essential that a medical professional will be able to monitor your progress. If you know you’re feeling anxious all the time, a medical professional will be able to diagnose if you’re suffering from a specific condition.
Set a schedule with a medical professional. This will definitely help you in the long-run.
Live Life At Your Own Pace
Be happy for your friends who are enjoying their life now. You will also get to enjoy yours, sooner or later. You should be able to understand that people have their own timelines.
Think back of your struggles from three years ago. You will be able to realize that you have improved a lot. Using this method often will make you grateful for your journey. Remember that everyone has their own kind of struggle. Don’t worry if you’re struggling a lot now.