A GENTLE, kind and fun approach to healing through art therapy is something Leeton's Vanessa Pages is passionate about.
Mrs Pages has this year started her own business that aims to help people through art mediums of all varieties.
It was last year that Mrs Pages, who had long had an interest in psychology, completed a Diploma in Art Therapy through Health and Harmony Colleges in Queensland via distance learning.
She is also now a member of the Holistic Health Association International.
So, what is art therapy?
"Art therapy is a healing modality ... my goal has always been to help women," Mrs Pages said.
"I wanted to create a safe space with no judgement where women could come.
"It has nothing to do with learning how to paint. It's not lessons on techniques. What it is, is where art and psychotherapy come together. Art therapy accesses the non-verbal part of our brain where memories are stored.
"Often with traditional counselling people will sit and try to communicate their emotions. Even though the majority of people find that beneficial, there are some people who feel they can't verbalise what they are feeling."
Art therapy helps to release past traumas and future anxieties through a range of mediums, but it's not about the finished piece or product.
The idea of this type of therapy is to access the non-verbal part of the brain that stores these images and express them through art.
"It brings these images out of the darkness into the light and a person can look at their emotions objectively," Mrs Pages said.
Mrs Pages has created created her own private studio where she helps people through art therapy.
The first step is to meet, discover and discuss the reasons why a person is seeking to experience art therapy.
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This includes an introduction into how it all works and how Mrs Pages can help someone on their healing journey.
She then goes away to design a therapy plan that is based to suit each individual's needs.
Those who typically seek out art therapy are people who have suffered grief, have heavy emotional burdens, carry stress or anxiety, find it difficult to discuss problems, self development, people looking for direction in their lives and so on.
"It's been amazing so far ... like I said my passion has always been helping people, so this is one way I can be doing that and it is working really well," Mrs Pages said.
For more information search Heal Thru Art Therapy Vanessa Pages on Facebook or contact Mrs Pages on 0401 093 762.
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