A bright, articulate, well-educated, mid-twenty- year-old young woman suffers migraines. Aware of the anxiety and stress from recurrent severe headaches, she is overwhelmed with pain. The intensity, happening time after time, inflicts distress. Words from the entries in the dictionary we looked up mounted: mental tension, throbbing, acute emotional distress, pulsate, rhythmic, saturation, strenuous, upset, submerge. Some words and phrases became capitalized: FULL OF DISORDER, BEING WITHOUT FOUNDATION, STRONGLY CRITICAL, ANXIETY, CONTROL, PRESSURE, HELPLESSNESS, STRESS
We paused, preparing to draw. Andrea’s inner critic came out, not allowing her to feel she could create freely. “I am afraid to draw,” she confessed. “We will do it together,” I assured. Like two artists working on a collaborative project, sitting side by side, we looked at reference materials. We picked out images Andrea felt connected to her selected words. We talked about where –top, bottom, left or right–to place the images on the paper. The rest was pure creativity, all Andrea’s.
“Bodyscapes allowed me the opportunity to bring language and visual representation to my headaches. I truly appreciated Diane’s patience, energy, spontaneity and spirit of collaboration in the process. After reflecting with the drawing I created with Diane, I realized, I need to do some inner work on my stressors to overcome my headaches. Also when I feel the onset of a headache I remember the drawing and try to sort where the pressure is coming from. It greatly assists me in reducing the stress and intensity of the headache knowing the root. Thank you again” Diane! “
The Red & Orange House relies on support from individual donors to maintain our work in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Each gift brings another art-making experience to a patient’s bedside, their family sitting in a family surgical waiting room, a private home or a workshop. Donor benefits include a weekly subscription to our upcoming newsletter. You can share the powerful healing moments experienced by program participants and their families. The Red & Orange House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (pending); all gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.