Does Art Therapy Promote Healing for Cancer Patients?

by Kayla Blanche Tse, LMFT

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“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” — Rumi

What are the benefits of art therapy for healing cancer and chronic illnesses?

Cancer and chronic illnesses bring physical and emotional challenges that begin at diagnosis and continue throughout treatment and beyond. These life-challenging experiences bring forth a wide-range of fluctuating emotions. Common feelings are fear, anxiety, anger, hopelessness, grief, depression, loss-of-control, guilt, low self-esteem, and body-image issues. Such feelings are not easily expressed verbally. Art therapy is a non-verbal form of communication that accesses part of the brain not easily reached through talk therapy alone. It provides welcome expression and relief, while creating opportunities to process heavy emotions. Art Therapy is a a holistic approach to cancer care, treating the whole mind-body-spirit versus focusing on the emotional or physical symptoms. It is a welcome layer of emotional support, increasing hope and building self-esteem from the creative process itself.

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During an art therapy session, art is created as a way to increase self-awareness and including a sense of control that is so quickly lost when facing a chronic illness. It allows the expression of complicated emotions. With the gentle support and guidance of an art therapist, one can develop effective ways to cope with symptoms, high-levels of stress, and opening the often feared discussion of life and our mortality.

How do I know if art therapy is right for me?

Art therapy is a safe and enjoyable way to relax and create hope. No art experience is needed since the creative process is ultimately the focus, not the finished art product. Art therapy is about the process of creative expression, processing emerging emotions with the art therapist, and the release of long-held feelings. These experiences with an art therapist influence the mind-body-spirit connection that is considered essential to healing and well-being during treatment.

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What can I expect?

The art therapist works with you, suggesting an art therapy “directive” or instruction, that is suited to your situation, physical capabilities, and healing goals. The art therapist has intimate knowledge of how certain art materials are more appropriate for different situations and individuals.  There is a wide array of artistic media, such as drawing, painting, magazine images collage, clay, or mixed-media.

Your art therapy session is based on where it is most convenient for you. I provide art therapy sessions in my office in Long Beach or at your home. To learn more and to discuss the possibilities, please contact me by either calling 323-920-9278 or by completing the form below.

Contact me, if you are interested in working with a therapist who works with Expressive Arts Therapy and Positive Psychology. I offer a free 20-minute phone consultation to discuss any questions you may have and to find out how this may benefit you.

Feel free to contact me by filling out the contact form below:

What is Art Therapy and How Will It Help Me?

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Flier and Website design by ©2017 Kayla Tse, LMFT.

Contact me, if you are interested in working with a therapist who works with Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) and Positive Psychology. I offer a free 20-minute phone consultation to learn out how art therapy may benefit you and your loved ones. Call me at 323-920-9278 or 323-920-9ART.

Pushing Buttons — Untended Pain

Daily Om by Madisyn Taylor

When someone continues to open our old wounds on purpose, they must be told that their behavior is no longer welcome.

We all had our buttons pushed to the point where we feel we can’t take it any more, and chances are, we’ve all pushed somebody else’s buttons, with or without knowing it. The button pusher may not be conscious of what they’re doing, but in the end the buttons belong to us, and we are the ones who must deal with what comes up. The more we take responsibility for our own feelings and reactions, the less tender these buttons will be.

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The importance of self-care.

We all had the experience of having someone snap at us, seemingly out of nowhere. This happens when we unconsciously push a button in someone else we didn’t even know was there. This can happen with a complete stranger and sometimes with a person we’ve known and been close to for years. We ourselves may have a relationship with someone whose buttons we secretly like to push. Buttons are just soft spots that have been touched one too many times, and they symbolize some pain that needs to be acknowledged and healed. This may be a wound from childhood, or some recent trauma, that we haven’t adequately tended. Whatever the case, when our buttons get pushed, the person who most needs our attention and caring is us, and blaming the button pusher only distracts us from finding a true resolution to our suffering.

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Image from cyh.com

At the same time, if someone continually opens our wounds so that they never have time to heal, we are well within our rights to set a boundary with that person. Compulsive button pushers, who seem to find pleasure or satisfaction in hurting us, are not welcome in our personal space. In the end, knowing where our buttons are enables us to do the work necessary to heal. Freedom comes when we deal with the pain behind the button, thus disconnecting our automatic reaction to being pushed.

For more information visit dailyom.com

verified by Psychology Today

Contact me, if you are struggling with a relationship you feel “keeps pushing your buttons.” I offer a free 20-minute phone consultation to discuss any questions you may have and to find out how I may benefit you as your therapist.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

February 11, 2015

Now Is the Time 

by Madisyn Taylor

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The time to blossom is now, not sometime in the future when you believe the stars will be aligned for you.

 

Having a vision for our future that differs from our current circumstances can be inspiring and exciting, but it can also keep us from fully committing to our present placement. We may become aware that this is happening when we notice our thoughts about the future distracting us from our participation in the moment. We may find upon searching our hearts that we are waiting for some future time or situation in order to self-actualize. This would be like a flower planted in North Dakota putting off blooming because it would prefer to do so in Illinois.

We have a habit of presenting life with a set of conditions—ifs and whens that must be fulfilled before we will say yes to the gift of our lives. Now is the time for each of us to bloom where we are planted, overriding our tendency to hold back. Now is the time to say yes, to be brave and commit fully to ourselves, because until we do no one else will. Now is the time to be vulnerable, unfolding delicately yet fully into the space in which we find ourselves.

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There are no guarantees in this life, so when we hold back we do so at the risk of never fully blossoming. This present moment always offers us the ground in which we can take root and open our hearts now. What this means is that we live fully, wherever we are, not hesitating because conditions are not perfect, or we might end up moving, or we haven’t found our life partner.

This can be scary, because we might feel that we are giving up our cherished dreams if we do not agree to wait for them. But this notion that we have to hold back our life force now in order to find happiness later doesn’t really make sense. What might really be happening is that we are afraid to embrace this moment, and ourselves, just exactly as we are right now. This constitutes a tendency to hold back from fully loving ourselves, as we are, where we are.

For more information visit dailyom.com

This article is printed from DailyOM – Inspirational thoughts for a happy, healthy and fulfilling day.
Register for free at www.dailyom.com

© 2004-14 DailyOM – All Rights Reserved

Contact me, if you are interested in working with a therapist who works with Expressive Arts Therapy and Positive Psychology. I offer a free 20-minute phone consultation to discuss any questions you may have and to find out how I may benefit you as your personal therapist. Call 323-920-9278.

Expressive Arts Therapy & Eating Disorders

For more information on filmmaker David Alvarado and his work please visit http://www.expressingdisorder.com/

For more information on Eating Disorders please visit http://www.edcatalogue.com/

Contact me, if you are interested in working with a therapist who works with Expressive Arts Therapy and Positive Psychology. I offer a free 20-minute phone consultation to discuss any questions you may have and to find out how I may benefit you and your loved ones. Call 323-920-9278.

You Are Beautiful

January 13, 2015

Daily OM – You Are Beautiful

Seeing Ourselves

by Madisyn Taylor

Many of us do not take the time to notice and acknowledge how beautiful we are as humans.

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We may be great lovers of beauty, seeing it in the people, places, and things around us, while completely missing it in ourselves. Some of us feel that it is vain to consider our appearance too much, or we may find that when we look at ourselves, all we see are imperfections. Often we come to the mirror with expectations and preconceived notions about beauty that blind us from seeing ourselves clearly. As a result, we miss the beauty that is closest to us, the beauty we are. Sometimes we see our beauty in a shallow way, noticing how well we are conforming to social norms, but failing to see the deeper beauty that shines out from within and that will continue to shine regardless of how we measure up to society’s ideal.

If we can cut through all these obstacles and simply appreciate how beautiful we are, we free up so much energy. We also become less dependent upon the opinions and feedback of others since we become our own greatest admirers. Many of us know that after a great yoga practice or a long, deep meditation, we are more able to see how beautiful we are. This is because we have released some of our baggage, thus unburdening ourselves and summoning forth the spirit that dwells within us. It is the heady combination of the divine spirit and the human body that conveys beauty more accurately than anything else.

To keep ourselves in touch with our own beauty, we can surround ourselves with images that reflect our beauty back to us—photos of a relative or child who has our eyes, images of teachers who embody spirit, or self-portraits that capture our essence in a way that allows us to see ourselves anew. The best way to keep ourselves in touch with our own beauty is to keep looking deeply into our own souls and opening our eyes to the human being we see in the mirror every day.

For more information visit dailyom.com

This article is printed from DailyOM – Inspirational thoughts for a happy, healthy and fulfilling day.
Register for free at http://www.dailyom.com

© 2004-14 DailyOM – All Rights Reserved.

Contact me, if you are interested in working with a therapist who works with Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) and Positive Psychology. I offer a free 20-minute phone consultation to discuss any questions you may have and to find out how I may benefit you as your personal therapist. Call 323-920-9278.

 

How Well Do You Read Other People?

Body Language Quiz | Test Your Emotional Intelligence

with Greater Good the Science of a Meaningful Life

Facial expressions are a universal language of emotion, instantly conveying happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and much more. Reading these expressions is essential to compassion and empathy.

Take this short quiz to measure your emotional intelligence. Try to identify the emotion conveyed in each of the 20 photos. Each answer will pinpoint the exact muscles involved in that emotion and explain the subtle differences between expressions, drawing on pioneering research by psychologists Paul Ekman and Dacher Keltner. Some emotions appear more than once.

When you’re done, share your score and have friends take the quiz.

Click here for link to test

Source: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/ei_quiz/

Contact me if you are feeling the holiday blues and would like to talk to someone who can help you. I offer a free 20-minute phone consultation, if you have any questions about my style of therapy or to see how I may benefit you. 

Follow my blog and feel free to share it, if you are interested in learning more about healing, psychology, mindfulness, and all things related to helping you feel good about yourself.

For more inspiration see Quotes to Inspire.

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Using Mindfulness to Navigate the “Holiday Blues”

From Asheville Insight Meditation

For many, the Holiday season is one of great joy, sharing and togetherness. Along with joy, however, this season has also been known to set up the perfect conditions for darker and more difficult moods to emerge. It is well-known that this season tends to bring up a lot of confusion and stress for many, whether from current obligations, or from conditioned mind habit patterns resulting from previous family/life experiences. Put all of this together and for many, the Holidays become a period to “get through” or “endure”.

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For those of us who experience emotional swings, difficulties, or even depression during this season, it can be helpful to see this time as great fodder for our practices. So how can we work skillfully with these difficulties?

For those of you who choose to boycott the holidays and not participate, even if you don’t experience the same stress during this season, it is safe to assume that you are still subjected to some of the collective’s energetic response during this period. After all, people all around you are probably acting quite differently than you are usually accustomed. As part of your practice, it may be helpful to see if your withdrawal from participating in this holiday is the result of your harboring any underlying beliefs, resentment, or negativity towards any particular traditions, persons or society? If so, this doesn’t make you bad or wrong, but any such resentment or negativity is something you can know, acknowledge, feel, and work with without adding any extraneous narrative. On the flip side, you may want to look and explore if you have any feelings of pride or superiority around your choice to withdraw. If so, this is just one more thing to work with, as skillfully as possible.

holidaybluesOnce we start to experience the “holiday blues” or difficulties, the first things some of our minds tend to do is to help us by trying to understand or contextualize the origins of these downers. By doing so, the mind collects data from past and present scenarios to weave intricate stories which explain or support the “blues”. When told regularly to ourselves, these stories actually energize, worsen, and/or prolong these difficult states – it’s as though we are adding fuel to already blazing fires.

Others minds help their hosts deal with the Holiday Blues by denying or avoiding the downer moods. Unfortunately, as many of us know, the more we attempt to deny or avoid something, the stronger it rears its head to become known, ultimately growing stronger over time. Many avoiding minds are motivated to use alcohol or other addictive substances to appease or avoid this growing unpleasantness. It’s easy to see how our helpful minds can actually be quite unhelpful.

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The middle and most helpful path to take is to use our mindful awareness to be present with and acknowledge the Holiday Blues or emotional frustrations that may arise during this time period. The trick here is to acknowledge difficult states without energizing them with explanations or story lines. Even though they may be based on reasonable facts (like my Aunt Sharie talks constantly without seemingly taking a breath), it is still most helpful to stop energizing already difficult situations with our stories about them. Acknowledge only the pain, sadness, frustration, impatience, judgment, worry, indigestion, or whatever is arising at the moment.

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Another important inquiry is to see if we have unrealistic expectations of ourselves or others to “be” a certain way. If so, drop these expectations and accept ourselves, family members, and friends, just as they are. After all, your brother who has told really corny jokes each year for the past 30+ years (that he thinks are hilarious) will most likely continue telling corny jokes that you find no humor in. Then again, he may stop telling jokes, period. As long as the people in your life are not intentionally trying to harm others, you will experience a lot more peace during this season if you stop expecting, and start accepting.

After we acknowledge and accept our present situation, the next most helpful thing to do is bring our mindfulness to our experience without judging it. We mindfully explore our emotional, mental, and physical sensations related to this difficulty. In this way, we give the difficult state the time and space it needs to be known and felt, without making ourselves bad or wrong. It sounds easy but in practice can be quite challenging. Just keep practicing acknowledging, accepting, and opening mindfully to our present circumstances, and eventually difficulties will begin to lessen and fade into the background.

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There are many obvious triggers – like the loss of a loved one, or being alone – that can make the holiday season much more challenging. During such difficult times, it is important to surround yourself with a network of caring and supportive friends and/or family. It is imperative to be patient with yourself during this process, while also giving yourself the love, care, and compassion you so greatly deserve. If these blues get too severe to handle, please reach out to someone who cares, possibly even a CRISIS Hotline.

Whether you typically get the Holiday Blues or not, it will be very helpful to continue to practice being mindfully aware of your present experience of each moment. With regular practice, you will start to see how mindful attention can bring a deep sense of peace, joy, wisdom, and acceptance to the variety of life’s ever-changing ups and downs.

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Source: http://www.ashevillemeditation.com/using-mindfulness-to-navigate-the-holiday-blues-652

Contact me if you are feeling the holiday blues and would like to talk to someone who can help you. I offer a free 20-minute phone consultation, if you have any questions about my style of therapy or to see how I may benefit you. Call 323-920-9278.

Follow my blog and feel free to share it, if you are interested in learning more about healing, psychology, mindfulness, and all things related to helping you feel good about yourself.