Heal through new mediums

Alternative therapies that offer solutions are the go to mantra for youth in Bengaluru.

Celebrities coming out in the open about mental illnesses and battling life issues has inspired people to seek professional help. Even then, a lot of people aren’t comfortable with opening up to strangers. For everybody who struggles to verbally express themselves, Bengaluru now has multiple other alternative activities that are both therapeutic and comforting.

City-based Dilip P Patel and Malathi Karpur are certified veteran artists in the field of Zentangle art or doodle-therapy. In Dilip’s own words, “The idea is to combine meditation and art.” Cancer survivor Sunanda G Prabhu recounts her journey with the doodle-art therapy. “Battling cancer is devastating for the patient as well as the family,” says her son. “Nobody knew what the outcome was going to be. Just to distract her, I gave her a notepad to scribble on and that ushered her to start drawing. Soon she was coming up with designs of her own. She realised she was creating something and that too, at a point where all the doctors could suggest was to wait. This is when people give up, but creating little doodles gave her a sense of purpose – that no matter what, she’s still productive. It acted as a strong railing for her to climb to where she is today.”

Expressive art therapy by ChandiniExpressive art therapy by Chandini

With a motive to free the mind at letting go without the fear of inhibitions, the new modules of therapy involve painting, music, and even free-style dancing! Collectively, this is known as Expressive Arts Therapy. “A multi-modal approach to therapy, this is an umbrella term for counselling using creative methods to get in touch with the unconscious,” said Chandini Harlakla, a trained Expression Art Therapist who carries out workshops in countries like Ghana and Russia as well. “Sometimes it is art that channels their repressed issues. Sometimes breaking into dance or other sorts of movement could be helpful!” Chandini lays stress on how the core idea of the entire process is to treat art not as a product, but as expression. A person is not required to have artistic ability to use or benefit from expressive arts therapy.

Cathartic writing, clay modelling, baking and visual arts and design are a part of this trend too. As city-based Tanuka Ray says, “Cathartic writing enables you to vent and let it out, providing all important emotional release. Not everybody is capable of expressing emotions on paper and some aren’t very indulgent, but as in my case, it boosted self acceptance. As I personally feel, everything comes pouring out in the journal within the privacy of one’s own self.

While some people see it as just an expression of artistic skills, a lot of people are slowly catching on to the belief that this is beyond honing one’s talents. Young clay model artist Romita B believes that in her case, coping with situations and anxiety has a lot to do with feeling in control. “Which is probably why I took up modelling items, and bakery is like a fix to me. Simultaneously, you’re creating something which requires all of your focus. I know I’m in charge and I know exactly how much of what can either make it or break it.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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