Hello everyone! My name is Lynell Weiss and I am a licensed marriage family therapist, and registered art therapist. I have always been a rather sensitive being, picking up on the emotional experiences of the people around me whether or not they were spoken aloud, and knew from a young age that this sensitivity was somewhat of a superpower. It was in high school that I realized that this sensitivity could be honed and put to good use, and it was after taking a slew of psychology courses in college that I realized I wanted to become a therapist.
My goal in working with clients is to help them change HOW they feel, not WHAT they feel. In other words, I focus on helping my client’s adjust the ways in which they relate to their emotions. I believe in the importance of cultivating an intimate relationship with our emotional world, so that we can have the freedom to experience all of our emotions instead of categorizing them as “good or bad.”
Now, a little bit about art therapy.
The questions I get asked most frequently about art therapy are some combination of the following: What is it? Who is it for? How does it work? How is it different from traditional talk therapy? The answer to all of the above is quite simple, art therapy involves the application of the creative process within a therapeutic context, and it can be used with all populations. No prior experience is needed to benefit from the process, simply an open mind and a willingness to try something new. The use of art and creativity typically comes in when we are discussing or exploring something that feels larger than words. Have you ever had an experience like that? Being present to something so significant that words don’t quite do the experience justice. I think about the loss of a loved one, or the experience of falling in love for the first time. Art comes in where words fall flat, and allows us to externalize our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs in a way that is non-verbal and therefore non-threatening.
One tip that I have for the LINNÉ community is this, whenever you find yourself overwhelmed by your thoughts or your feelings, come back to your 5 senses. Try to spend 10 seconds or so focusing on what you notice when paying attention to each of your 5 senses. This is a simple yet very effective way of grounding, and getting out of your mind and into your body.