Curiosity is a life hack to wholeness. Part of healing is “getting curious about what happened, figuring out the truth, deciding whether we are self-protecting, and learning what needs to change to move forward,” says shame researcher Brené Brown. When we experience a big emotion Brown believes we should use the phrase ‘the story I am making up…’ By checking in with self we empower ourselves to look at our interpretation of the situation and are admitting it may not be 100% accurate, knowing that our emotions love to hijack our view. Getting curious about our emotions increases both self awareness and emotional articulation.
Querying our emotions (especially big ones) and their impact on our physical body isn’t intrinsic to most people, it is a learned skill. The role of the art therapist is to provide a safe therapeutic temenos for clients to bring whatever they need to bring and support them through a personal healing journey using art materials. Art therapy is client focussed.
Elvin Semrad was a well respected psychiatrist and teacher who encouraged his clients and challenged his psychology students to get curious. “Most human suffering is related to love and loss and the job of therapists is to help people acknowledge, experience, and bear the reality of life with all its pleasures and heartbreak. People can never get better without knowing what they know and feeling what they feel.”