Artistic Explorations in Adelaide, South Australia

Artistic explorations
Artistic explorations

H-L Therapy embraces creativity as an important part of our service. We believe that every person has at least a little bit of creative streak within them, just waiting to be discovered and applied. Therefore, Artistic Exploration activities are interweaved in most H-Link services, including counselling, therapy and recreational group programs.

Artistic Exploration as applied in H- L Therapy services is not about an Art Therapy or developing artistic skills. It is not about whose artistic creation is better or worse because we are all individuals and express ourselves differently. The term Artistic Exploration refers to a practical use of an art as a strategy for communicating, forming connections, sharing a common understanding, rapport and interest. It is about being absorbed in a meaningful activity, whilst having fun along the way.

Clients participating in Artistic Exploration by H-L Therapy activities are all doing well, regardless of previous experiences, abilities and skill level because the focus is not on producing masterpieces but on having fun in a supportive, non-judgemental environment. Bonding through artistic exploration in a group setting offers the opportunity for participants to meet and interact with other people who may later become good friends.

H-L Therapy also often uses the Artistic Exploration to assist communication in therapy and counselling sessions. Through expressing themselves artistically, clients are often better able to communicate their thoughts, feelings and emotions. This type of artistic communication is useful for shy people, people with a wide range of disabilities who experience communication difficulties or other people who find it hard to express their complex emotions. In situations like this, clients may be asked to draw a picture, write down their emotions, prepare and / or read a poem, prose or listen to an inspirational story to assist them in conveying their thoughts, feelings or abstract ideas that may otherwise be difficult to express verbally. Other benefits of using Artistic Exploration as a part of Hypno-Link services are to:

• strengthen focus and invoke relaxation responses (for example as a preparation for relaxation therapy or hypnotherapy sessions)
• supplement therapeutic approaches in H-L Therapy counselling and therapy sessions
• assist group participants in forming a better rapport and interest based social interaction between each other.
• offer the choice and opportunity for exploring creativity, experiment with different modes of artistic expressions and have fun.
• offer socially inclusive engagement in various multisensory projects.
• assist the discovery of new interests.
• assist a new, more positive meaning and understanding of one’s situation and that of the surrounding environment.


Artistic Explorations Picture no 3

Examples of Artistic Exploration activities offered

by H-L Therapy

Drawing and painting. This activity may involve the use of crayons, pencils, water based and oil pastels, acrylic and ink paint, subject to the participants’ choice and preference. Mandalas colouring activities can also be facilitated for participants who require more structured approach.

Listening to music. Both classical and modern music can be played, subject to the clients’ choice.

Singing / Voice Projection. This is a modality to enhance vocal and verbal expression and may involve vocal exercises, reading aloud and / or singing.

Listening to positive, inspirational stories. The stories are kept short and each of them has a moral which can later be further explored in discussions with client/s

Poetry and Story Writing. The participants may be encouraged to write a story or a poem to express how they are feeling along with the deeper meaning they wish to convey

Acting. The clients may be asked to act out certain past events or conversations to make a better sense out of them. It may assist them to use the role play scenario to verbalise important messages they have for others but which they find challenging to communicate. Acting out the future events may also be facilitated as a mean for a future rehearsal – to assist performance. Another example, where future rehearsal may be useful is as a graded desensitisation strategy to address feared situations in a treatment of anxiety disorders

Art of Non-Verbal Expression. This involves practicing different body postures and gestures – to assist a better understanding of a close interconnection between the body, mind and emotions. An example of this activity involves standing up straight and then slouching down and seeing how well one feels in either of these positions.

Craft Activities. This  may include making simple home decoration items, decoupage, sensory play, Papier Mache, dough creations, and so forth.

All Artistic Exploration activities by H-L Therapy are mindfulness & relaxation activities because to participate in them clients need to be aware of what they are doing and therefore be fully present in ‘here and now’. This has clear mental health benefits boosting our concentration and confidence levels, allowing us to distract from negative thoughts and feelings. Like other mindfulness activities, Artistic Exploration can be used as self-management strategy for assisting anxiety and depression.

Artistic Exploration
Drawing pictures in therapy.  All pictures are published with full consent from participants.




Using music and drum shapes in therapy.  All pictures published with participants’ consent.
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