Art Therapy

As part of the process of recovering from some difficult experiences, I'm undergoing counselling. My counsellor encourages me to express my feelings through writing letters, which I'll burn once I've finished them all. But some feelings are best expressed in a more symbolic way. Thus I've become obsessed with art therapy - starting with abstract pieces and moving on to a mixture of collage art and watercolours.

Some pieces are too private to share, but these are relatively inoffensive.

View From The Island

One of the first things we discussed in therapy was creating a 'safe space' in the mind to retreat to when things get too much. I created my safe space many years ago. It's an island, where I live in a cottage attached to a lighthouse. There's a sandy beach, and caves, and I grow my own food. The island has three wind turbines. My job is to look after the lighthouse. My Grandad has his own cottage on the island, and my partner shares the lighthouse cottage with me, but we each have our own space. It's always pleasantly warm on the island, and from my vantage point I can see if any boats are coming.

A future project will be to paint the island itself, but this image depicts the view from the island and the peace I feel there, knowing it's just me and mine for miles.


I feel like I might do a little more work on this at some point, but this is the basic idea. The orange iris is the Sun just before sunset. The eye around it is angry and not quite human. It's sinking into the calm sea at the moment, but it will rise again. My counsellor says that's OK - that anger is a normal emotion. The goal is not to suppress it, but to accept it and express it in a safe way. I spent my whole childhood being taught, in one way or another, that anger was sinful and that I had no power of my own. Now I'm claiming both my anger at the world and my power. No one will take these things from me again.