I Believe in the Power of Art

I believe in trauma. I believe in trauma's ability to teach. I believe trauma is one of our most memorable teachers. Trauma comes around, teaches by example, then we learn how-to-learn, from trauma. We learn about ourselves. We learn how to exist in a new world after a traumatic event and we learn who we have become; a stronger and fuller human.

I also believe in the power of art.

I recently did a Facebook live video which was posted to YouTube as well through the Integrate Network. I stated I would come back around to this blog post to share more intimate examples of what I referenced.  As a practicing trauma informed art therapist, I have worked with many clients who have survived traumatic events.  I have learned many things from them, allowing trust in me to hear and walk along side the story of their journeys. I never take that experience lightly. Seeing relief in my client's when they've walked through the trauma to the other side is an act of sincere bravery. Not everyone is ready to face those dark corners nor will they ever be. But for those of us who are ready to dig in, jump through, and make it to the other side; they can truly be honored for the work it entails to face trauma and break through it.


Some of the work I referenced was about various directives. 


Worry dolls. Worry dolls don't have to just be dolls. The concept is to identify and name the worry so it no longer has to be stored in the body. The metaphor of taking the worry from inside our mind, heart etc. and moving out into an actual object is transformative for any age. It's about practicing that step of putting the worry onto the object and leaving it behind. When that object then gets "contained," literally put inside a container, then the client no longer has to hold onto it, which is relieving. 

Having a sense of belonging can be very comforting and healing when having gone through a traumatic event. Community art is a great way of forming and growing those relationships. When people come together there is a sense of belonging that grows and two strangers can work along side each other in an opportunity to form new relationships; healthy, strong relationships. Additionally, to practicing the skills of forming new relationships, community art brings an ownership to something bigger than ourselves. When people come together to bring art to life, powerful and important things happen.

My thoughts are; trauma teaches and art transforms. Living along side each other we have so much to learn. Let us learn together.

Natalie N. Coriell, MA, ATR-BC, LPC

Natalie Corriel