Your mental health has a great impact on the rest of your world and how you function. It is tied to your physical health, your relationships and your general happiness and well being! But why do so many of us ignore it, suffer, or try to 'tough' it out? Everyone is deserving of emotional care and support and finding what works best for you is a great first step. I recently came across this study about fertility, art therapy and mental health, for the full version don't hesitate to get in touch!
Dr. Ed Hughes is a leading figure in reproductive health and fertility. A Professor Emeritus in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McMaster University, he is trained as an REI specialist and has a Masters Degree clinical epidemiology and biostatistics. Dr. Hughes is also an artist and believes in the healing potential of art making and creative expression.
In 2010 Dr. Hughes led a pilot art therapy project examining how art therapy could function as a mental health intervention for sub-fertile women. This study involved a group of 21 women who were attending the Hamilton Health Sciences fertility clinic for ongoing fertility care. The group sessions focused on specific areas and themes around subfertility and included the unforeseen nature of subfertility, fear the problem would remain unresolved, pain, stress associated with treatment, guilt over waiting too long to seek help, and difficulty communicating their experience and issues with family and friends. Each session was semi-structured and used a different art therapy directive each week.
This study showed statistically significant reductions in feelings of depression and hopelessness. The feedback from the participants suggested that their experience was surprising, relaxing and pleasurable. Some participants indicated that art was a safe place to express difficult emotions and others continued to make art after the program had finished. Additional outcomes as noted by the art therapist were validation of feelings, self-awareness, and improved self-esteem and stress reduction.
Art Therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses creative expression and art materials to identify and explore the emotional needs and issues of the client. It is a gentle and flexible alternative to traditional talk therapies and can awaken the creative spirit we all have within us. When your individual experience is so unique or powerful there may not even be words to express it. This is why we have art!
Since art therapy does not require any artistic ability or background it is truly accessible to everyone.
To learn more about how art therapy can support you feel free to contact me at the clinic or email firstname.lastname@example.org