026: Using Art to Process Your Emotions with Sherry Joy Collier
Do you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or confused? Do you feel an urge to be creative, but don’t know how? Sherry Joy Collier is explaining exactly how to to use art to process your own emotions, not only for your own benefit but for your child’s!
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Who is Sherry Joy Collier?
Sherry Joy Collier, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Expressive Arts Therapist, Artist and Instructor who helps creative women learn how to paint in a way that creates joy, express their unique personality and decreases stress and depression.
Prefer to watch the interview?
Using Art to Process Your Feelings with Sherry Joy Collier:
As a former therapist trained in expressive arts therapy, Sherry Joy Collier has years of experience using art to make meaning of our emotions. But it was when she moved to TN and began creating her own art that she saw the potential to help women thrive even outside of the traditional therapy setting.
As she taught herself to paint, women began seeking her out to teach them too. And she found that for both her and the students it was relaxing, fun, and joyful. She was helping women tap back into their creative selves and have fun with it!
More than just an art teacher
Sherry’s goal isn’t to teach you to be a refined painter. Her goal is for you to tap into your own emotions, symbols, and interests and fulfill the creative part of your soul.
She wants women to realize they have permission to play, experiment, and be messy!
The benefits of creating art to process emotions:
When you create art you’re actually using both halves of the brain which strengthens you psychologically, physiology, and your creativity. And when you do that you’re actually improving the health of the brain which can increase your ability to problem solve as well as your resiliency. It also has been shown to reduce the inflammation that causes depression and anxiety.
You’re also able to more easily tap into your subconscious brain which is hard to do through just writing or speaking. This allows you to more easily peel the layers of your emotions back. To confront your true triggers and process those feelings and memories.
“One of the worst things you can do to your immune system is to live in fear.”
How to be more creative when you’re already overwhelmed:
Sherry believes processing your emotions and taking the time to be creative is even more important for moms that feel overwhelmed.
As she says art is your organic salad bar. It’s not something you’ll probably see the benefits of right away, but over time you’ll feel better. In other words, you need to make time for your self-care.
Some tips to start:
- Start small. Even if it’s one time a week for an hour or 10 minutes a day.
- Have a small section of your home where everything is all set up so you don’t have to spend time finding all your materials.
- Keep it simple. One or two types of materials you’re drawn to and a sketchpad is all you need.
The process of using art to process your feelings and worries:
- Close your eyes and tune into your body.
- Without any distractions, scan your whole body. Pay special attention to any pains or other sensations. Is it light, heavy, tight, moving fast or slow, hot/ cold…
- Choose the one that stands out the most first and as you breathe into it determine what color(s) you would use to describe it.
- Ask yourself if the color or image is saying anything or sending a message (you may need to describe it and break it down- you can find an example during the interview).
- As more images or words come to mind determine if there are any other colors coming to mind.
- Choose your materials, the paper orientation, and start making marks on the paper using those colors.
- After a bit of time, step back and decide if what you see matches the feelings.
- Think about when else you might have experienced that feeling. Especially when you’re feeling triggered or overwhelmed. “What’s behind that anger?
- Combine with journalling for an even more impactful session.
- Ask yourself, what did I need then and what colors/ symbols represents that and art journal again.
- Visualize yourself receiving what you needed in the past.
Processing emotions with children:
This process isn’t only suitable for adults but it can be an amazing tool to help your children process their own emotions. With children, it can even be as simple as asking “What does it look like when you’re angry?”
If your child has shut down, you can even model this process for them and ask if that’s how they feel or if they’d like to show you how they feel. Remember do NOT limit them. They may choose just a pen or pencil, they may tear up the paper… it’s all acceptable and is a guide into how they’re feeling.
You can find Sherry Joy Collier at:
For the freebie, she mentions- https://sherryjoycollier.com/
If you want to jump into painting you can find her course here- https://sherryjoycollier.com/painting-with-purpose/
Her FB page- https://www.facebook.com/sherryjoycollier/
Join Sherry in her Creative Women Who Thrive Group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/creativewomenwhothrive/