Untitled by Laura K, Pastel on Fabriano paper, 12" x 18", 2014

Untitled by Laura K, Pastel on Fabriano paper, 12″ x 18″, 2014

When I work with a client  living with depression, I know the words my client and I will define in the dictionary will be words I know too well. Depression and liver damage were the two conditions  for which I created The Bodyscapes Technique.

 “I was in therapy for three years. I learned some good things. But, I still have depression. I thought I would try something new.” My client reminded me of my own tenacious spirit to continue to seek ways to understand more fully living with depression. So, we started. Anxiety, depression, stomach and scared.

The word list grew. As we tracked our key words, depression, anxiety, stomach and scared, we found words which expanded her definition of her experience with depression. These words fell into a series of combined experience. … depression & hallow.  ….want of originality & unsubstantial……uninteresting & matter of no import…… stomach & pain ……bladder & burden…… worried & irritable…… malaise & annoy…… to be in limbo & procrastinating….. distress & dreamland…… displeasure & lull….. dull & lethargy

Stomach & pain, bladder & burden, malaise & annoy, these words are the important preliminary research for a Bodyscapes drawings. They inform the choices each clients makes as they decide which organ to draw, how large to make that image on the page and what colors to smear across the shape. In the drawing above, we find a large stomach in pain taking up most of the page. Red color symbolizes pain. Spiral marks show irritability.  Hot vibrant yellow sounds the liver and stomach.

“They yellow is the burden and the distress. It’s also a bit of the dreamland. Because depression makes me feel alone like I am living a different reality than everyone else. Alone at home, I am sad  living in my dreamland.”

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; all gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.

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