Wellness: Finding Your Sense of Fun with Art Therapy, by Debbie Anderson

No matter why they come to art therapy, many of my clients have little capacity for fun. Most of their energy is focussed on functioning in their world and meeting the expectations of the others in their lives -whether they be family, work, or friends. Their lives have become energetically tight and closed. They are distracted away from joy. Life is happening to them. They feel unbalanced, and powerless to create the change they long for.

Once a trust develops between an art therapist and client, then the capacity to open up begins. Their inner child comes out to play and although what shows up in the art may not be pretty, it always feels better out than in. Always. The more you keep “it” in, the less room there is for joy.

In my experience art-making is a real catalyst to open inner doorways. Remember (perhaps from childhood) what it feels like to dip into a vibrant colour of paint, and then let the brush glide across a surface?  When you are able to paint with abandon with no heed to the outcome, something magical happens: authentic creativity! How about the feeling of manipulating clay and creating shapes ? By tapping into your creative mind small bits of pure inspiration come from something bigger than yourself.

As you create there are moments of stillness; gaps of no-thinking that open your mind to even more ideas. That is a free and exhilarating feeling! It opens hope that the life you’ve dreamed of is really there.  Suddenly there is more laughter in your life and stressful situations become easier to handle. Perhaps this happens because in the art therapy room there is space to just be. No agenda, just being open to creative inspiration.

I encourage you to make energetic room in your body through creative outlets. Once the space is there, your capacity for FUN goes up!

Here are some examples of art as a ‘clearing tool’ to leave some fresh space inside.


Debbie Anderson is a professional art therapist with a private practice in Toronto, and facilitates various creativity for well-being workshops. Debbie is grateful to have found art therapy as a means of being in service to others who are seeking to reconnect with themselves. The joy of creativity and the healing that comes from inner images is a privilege to witness. She feels the connection to all beings on the planet.