I think it is unfortunate that creativity and artistic expression have been so closely associated with mental illness that one is considered necessary for the other. Creativity, in my experience, comes from the part of the self that is whole and is trying to self-heal, often by using the psyche's language of images, much in the way dreams do. If persons struggling with tragedy, stress, or mental illness find artistic expression necessary to their life, to me this is a sign that they are trying to self-heal, not a symptom of illness. I am not familiar with your experience, and what you believe helped you recover, is it possible that your creative expression played an important role in your healing? It is my belief that the psyche is usually able to heal itself with the proper support and care, much as the body is and has a great many resources of its own. I see the therapist's as being one of supporting and strengthening the resources a person already has, and creativity is one of them.
I respectfully suggest that your creativity is still there, and can still be drawn upon, as you give yourself space to do so. This is not a resource you can lose. I personally have found the Artist's Way (a book by Julia Cameron), while not an art therapy book, to be useful in resolving creative blocks. The author was an alcoholic, and believed that without her addiction, she could no longer be creative. She shows in the book how she proved herself wrong on that score.
Sophia Kelly, DVATI
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