The thought of therapy can be daunting, often causing the same reaction that it’s helping to prevent
This is where Belinda Ryan and Ignite Art Therapies comes in, with an intriguing method of therapy.
Ignite Art Therapies was born 9 years ago by renowned art therapist Belinda Ryan, known fondly as Bel, after exploring what she knows from personal experience, is the notion that explaining with words can be far more difficult than expected.
“We don’t always have the words, or we can’t always find a way to describe things. Personally, through my experiences as a child I used art as an outlet and know how powerful it can be to reflect on life ” she says.
Bel’s Masters in counselling, as well as her art therapy qualifications, all led to her current profession.
Her life experiences and working with young people merely proved that words can sometimes be limiting, and that using art to connect is a brilliant alternative.
In the current climate, Bel tells us that there has been a distinct increase in professionals seeking her help.
“We’ve never experienced anything like this before, so I think one of the things that Coronavirus has highlighted is that it can be difficult to navigate the unknown ,” Bel says
That overnight change was, for a great number of people, extremely disorientating. Having to halt social lives, busy working lives, and be constrained at home brought on a wave of collective uncertainty.
In that same vein, the faster-than-expected switch back to normalcy, also brought on similar feelings of anxiety and panic.
“People don’t know what to do with that uncertainty, as it’s always shifting,” Bel says.
We’re about to go through it again with people heading back to offices.”
“In the last few weeks I’ve had an increase in enquires of people asking questions like, what does this mean for my life?, what am I going to leave behind?, and will the good things that I would like continue?,” Bel says.
Bel’s therapy explores being resilient and balanced, as well as how to spend quality time with people without the weight of stress and life experiences.
“Finding the calm amongst the chaos, thats what we explore,” She says.
The topic of clarity is brought up often as Bel explains her therapy.
“When life feels out of control, people often want answers to questions like what does that mean for me? specifically,” she says.
Bel sits in the unknown with her clients in what is life’s experiences, and in turn helps them adjust with that unknown.
For Bel, art is the tool that helps you achieve that greater sense of awareness.
The art used in her sessions can be anything from drawing, building, using construction, plasticine, painting, and “so many different mediums to express what you can’t put into words.”
And most importantly, Bel says that there’s no pressure at all to be good at art.
“Quite often we change the art; it can be altered, burnt, let go, destroyed, and insight into the lived experience happens when you do it,” she says.
“You’re creating something that reflects life, sometimes that’s messy, sometimes that’s structured.”
Her sessions are appropriate for every age group, not just children. In fact, it’s incredible for adults as it helps their ability to move forward and unpack “baggage” that may be carried unnecessarily.
“We have expectations on ourselves that when we take another look at, we see that some needs to be let go,” she says.
Bel’s services span various offers, from one on one sessions with the so coined ‘stressed out professional’, in which she helps them achieve clarity around their career and employment, to helping those in higher, morer stressful positions.
“Working one on one with managers on how they can navigate this time and what they can do as a leader to help their staff,” Bel says.
“They support everyone which makes you wonder who is supporting them, it’s not only about looking after themselves, but what they can do for others.”
Ignite Art Therapies also offers workshops around wellness for teams, these can be both online and in person.
Another focus for Bel’s clients revolves around supervision and checking in with every staff member to ensure they’re continuing to be well and feel motivated at work.
Ignite Art Therapies’ primary goal has always been to help people explore and express new perspectives, as well as leaving with life skills that they can carry with them.
Bel’s aim is to provide clarity around “moving forward, reinvigorating your life, thriving, having greater focus, being in better relationships, and just feeling good about life,”
“It doesn’t have to get to crisis point before seeking some clarity, therapy is also about prevention,” she says.
“If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and unsure, those are feelings I would use as signs.”
Ignite Art Therapies is also quietly expanding their offerings to include Virtual Reality, which Bel describes as simply being another incredible medium to use in the therapy space.
“Just like using paint.”
To find out more about Ignite Art Therapies and to book a session, head over to https://ignitearttherapies.com.au/ or contact Bel on 0403 826 730.