Creative therapy is good therapy
I’ve spent my day off this week binge-watching the TV documentary series, The me you can’t see with Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry, and I was encouraged and inspired by the open and frank discussions around mental health, mental illness and people’s experiences of therapy. I really encourage you to watch this series if you have the chance and opportunity to (please pay attention to the trigger warning at the start though because people are very candid in their explanations and personal struggles).
The reason I mention this series – apart from as an encouragement to watch it – is that there were a couple of things that struck me that I wanted to share. Firstly, were the creative approaches to healing and recovery that are explored by the producers – I simply love that there were so many REAL examples of not only the painful impact of mental ill-health but also of the variety of different ways that we now work with different mental health issues. Thankfully there is far less dependency placed on talk-therapy, mainstream Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and pharmacology as the go-to solutions to mental health diagnoses.
One of the people that is featured in the documentary is an incredible chap, Hussain Manawer who is a poet, charity fundraiser and founder of his own creative agency. He became known as “The Original Mummy’s Boy” after he won a competition – The One Young World – with THIS keynote on mental health. He has a lived experience of mental health issues, particularly when he lost his mother. He uses his beautiful rap-inspired poetry to manage his own mental health, but also to raise awareness of mental health issues. An incredibly creative way to reach people where they are at, reduce some of the barriers to accessing mental health support and de-stigmatise mental illness in the process.
And then there was wonderful spotlight that Prince Harry shone on his experience of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) as a treatment modality for his own lived experience of anxiety and trauma associated with his mother’s life and death. EMDR is one of the modalities that I utilise frequently with many of my own clients and it’s a powerful and life-changing form of therapy – very far removed from talk therapy! This article came out in today’s The Age newspaper here in Australia (click HERE for the link) in which Dr Christopher Lee explains a bit more about how EMDR works and I will endeavour to follow up with a blog next week as a bit of a deep-dive into EMDR.
For me, all these scream of the hope that we should hold for not only the reduction in the stigma that mental illness carries, but also a bright future in terms of how we treat it. The more we learn about how the brain works, the more we learn about how we can treat mental health issues, and the more we normalise all of it, the better of humanity is.
If it’s time you engage in some creative approaches to mental health, including EMDR, please reach out to us at Thea Baker Wellbeing: firstname.lastname@example.org / 03 9077 8194.