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Responding to a World in Hurt and Pain

Recently, two questions have been brought to my attention that had me thinking for quite a while:

What’s it like being an art therapist during a pandemic?


How should I respond to the world right now?

Immediately I took a deep breath and thought - (insert deep breath) it’s heavy, dark and I can’t hold the space for it all

So to address the first question:

What’s it like being an art therapist during a pandemic?

To respond to this answer I want to take into consideration this is my experience as an art therapist and does not speak for all art therapists. So in response immediately at the beginning of the pandemic I was concerned for the mental health of past, current and future clients. I thought ok I understand orders are in place in response to an emergency and just like our brains when there is an emergency we have a fight flight freeze response to do whatever it takes to get through the situation. But then once we make an action driven by emotional responses (this is in our limbic system and protects us) then later our rational thinking and conscious awareness kicks in and we realize what is happening. The response was immediate, it had to be, we are all in an emergency…but that’s the thing it’s an emergency response when will a rational thinking kick in for those who may be affected negatively? Where is the sustainable solution?

I am not saying it is the wrong response I just think we need to explore ways to do better for humankind and that the emergency response may not be the sustainable one.

My wish is that physical health and mental health are seen as equal, not one take a priority over the other.