Art Therapy for Communication; Tools for processing your emotions.
We already know that talking out and using verbal tools are very important in communicating and becoming a better unit as a couple. We know body language, tone of voice, gestures and choice of words can aid or impair a conversation that can be touchy or explosive. However, there are other communication tools that you can add to that as well! One of the many ways you can enhance the way you communicate is through art therapy.
Now we know what you are thinking...and yes you don't have to be an artist to do this! Through non-verbal communication and by using images rather than words, it can tell much more about what is really the core issue, what you really feel deeply about, or what you see in your mind that is happening that is hard to verbalize.
Try these methods of art therapy and see if it helps! Give it a good month before you give up to get used to it and to break past the surface and get down to the 'nitty gritty'.
1. Get a sketch book for each of you with a special set of colored pencils. Something easy to store and can be used anywhere you go. The importance of color opposed to just graphite is the communication of emotion along with the image itself.
2. Sit down in a quiet place, either your home, a coffee shop, a park, etc. and talk about what you are trying to convey to your partner. Then take about 10-20 minutes to each draw out how you feel about it. It can be a hard line, a messy squiggle, a dot of red, or anything else that comes to mind. Share by swapping each others sketchbooks.
3. Draw out your response to what they drew. Maybe you add a cross line to the one they drew representing that you are trying to break down their walls. Maybe you add a happy face to the red dot to represent them seeing the positive amongst their anger. It can be whatever you feel.
4. Swap back the sketchbooks and talk about what each means, how it made you feel, what you were trying to achieve and why you felt that way.
5. Keep an art therapy journal and draw out how you feel when you can't talk about it with your partner. After
you finish, jot down notes on why you made that piece of art and what you want to say to them when you can talk again. Sometimes getting out an angry response there means you can cool down and talk about it calmly, or maybe it helps you work out your thoughts so you can articulate better when you can speak.
The goal of these exercises are to help assist with the process, to break down barriers, to feel in new ways and to give you some tools for a better relationship. Trying new ways to communicate can broaden your thought process, help you analyze both the logical and emotional response and give you a good perspective on how you react.