Individuation Through Creativity and My Journey to Arts Therapy

Moving Passion and Purpose From the Pain

I came to a realization that I had a disorganized work life, shallow relationships, and I was reluctant to see and scared of my family. My relationship with food, alcohol, and men reflected my relationship with myself. From my early teens, I suffered from endometriosis and had been on the pill since I was 17. I was constantly on and off antibiotics to heal my skin, decrease the pain, and combat recurring tonsillitis and glandular fever, which would then flare up as soon as I stopped taking the antibiotics. At the time, I was unaware of how numb the pill made me feel and how much damage the antibiotics were doing to my body. I felt exhausted all of the time, and I struggled to feel connected to my body. My skin, endometriosis pain, back issues, and constant loathing for my body meant that being drunk was the only time I felt I could feel free. I would then crave attention from men to make me feel worthy.

It was 2010 when I had a wake up call. I was in a stressful and horrific job where I was being sexually harassed, bullied and working over 13 hr days. I tried to go through the official process to report my problems but realised this was the industry – the system was fine, I just didn’t fit the system. I went for a run for miles!! and realised that was it! I’m not putting up with this. I quit that next morning and applied to study language education. The art of communication. That was my first time I realised I don’t have to be in this sucky job and I can do what I want! But wow that was scary! at that time I started my own art business with the intention to make others feel seen, heard and connected, sharing the healing power of art. My choices were driven by that innate desire to feel at home and be accepted.

Later that year, a beautiful soul witnessed me being in a pattern of victimization within my family dynamic and encouraged me to step away from it. She validated my feelings and let me know that I wasn’t crazy. Gaslighting had been happening for the past 20 years, so it was normalized to me. I was being abused and bullied and was the scapegoat, and if I spoke up or acted out of line, I was abused more heavily. So, I learned that it was way better and easier to just hide or submit. This friend recommended a life coach and a kinesiologist to me.

This moment was the turning point of my journey towards individuation.

This one session with the amazing life coach and spiritual guide changed my life. I still see my kinesiologist to this day. From those two sessions, they activated a part of me to see my latent gifts and remembrance of self – my love and understanding of the body-soul connection came back. I remembered that the key to higher consciousness lay in creativity. I was intrigued by what seemed like witchcraft. I was healing my body through the subconscious; my back pain and immobility were healing. I was reigniting my inner self that had been put in a box and buried for so long.

I had never experienced this kind of perspective or healing before. The experience of seeing a therapist who saw me changed how I viewed life forever. It made me realise how much joy you could experience in life by reaching out and receiving. Not being scared of being alive! I knew I had to heal my body and remember who I was. After trying to numb my life, I realised I needed to heal my traumas and body and uncover my true essence to feel free and create the life of my dreams – creating.

From this session I started my self development journey, I journaled daily and read books about healing your life. This helped me overcome my anxiety and panic attacks and bring more joy into my life. I went on to completing the language degree and teaching thousands of students, refugee children, kids at risk, I loved my job. But I was still disconnected from my body, in that I hadn’t healed any of my past traumas and was spiritually bypassing a lot of what I needed to heal. I was eating well, meditating, exercising, and journaling, but I would still go out, drinking, and over work myself and have poor boundaries. I was aware of the mind, body, soul connection at this point but I was still giving away my power, saying yes to things when I should have been saying no, trying to get validation from people who didn’t even respect me and needing to please people.

A year or so later I realised there was that one thing that was missing – hands on creativity – outside the system. I wanted to do something that brought all my loves together; communication, empowerment, rites of passage, trauma therapy and creating from the heart – channelling. That’s when in 2013 I found it – Arts Therapy.

It took me a while to apply and bring myself to start studying again. Could I study when it felt so late in life? A four year degree in my late 20’s, when I just wanted to create and teach positive communication and kinesthetics now and the power it brings to your life. Because I was still acting out old stories, I was still replaying experiences from my past that were screaming to be healed. This led to a break-in and sexual assault which on the day I pressed charges I contracted Ross River Virus (mosquito virus) which had me bedridden for over a year and with no immune health and energy for 3 years as the virus remained active. The man was charged and pleaded guilty, but the stress and toll the case took on my mental and emotional let alone my spiritual and physical well being was massive. 

I started seeing an Arts Therapist, and it was a complete game changer for me. Through art-making, I was able to express my emotions in a way that felt safe and authentic. The creative process helped me connect with my body and access deeper parts of myself that I had been disconnected from for so long. My therapist provided a safe space for me to explore my past traumas, and through the creative process, I was able to release old patterns and find new ways of being.

This experience inspired me to pursue a career in Arts Therapy. I applied to a four-year degree program and started my journey towards becoming an Arts Therapist. It wasn’t easy, and there were times when I doubted myself and wondered if I was on the right path. But every time I had those doubts, I would sit down and make art, and I would remember why I was doing this work.

Through my training, I learned how to use different art modalities to support others in their healing journey. I learned how to hold space for someone as they express themselves through art, and how to help them process their emotions in a safe and supportive environment. I learned how to use creative interventions to support individuals dealing with anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, and other mental health challenges.

Becoming an Arts Therapist was not just a career choice for me, it was a journey of self-discovery and healing. It helped me reconnect with my true self and uncover my purpose. It allowed me to support others in their own healing journey, and for that, I will always be grateful.

Through my personal journey, I learned that the healing power of creativity is vital to achieving self-actualization. It allowed me to heal my traumas, reconnect with my true essence, and create the life of my dreams. By saying no to things that didn’t serve me and embracing my power, I could live my life to the fullest. Arts therapy was the key to my journey towards individuation, and I believe it can be transformative for anyone who is seeking healing and self-discovery.

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