By Amy Goldbeck, LPC, R-DMT, CHt
What does it mean to make space for something? To me, making space means carving out time, and acknowledging its value and need. Further, it means using the time to reflect and explore things stirring inside, whether it’s a recurring thought, concern, or body symptom. It’s easy to distract ourselves from unwanted feelings, tasks, and thoughts. Often, we go to great lengths to avoid these things.
You might ask, why would I want to make space for something unwanted? Because, the avoided thing will not go away on its own. It will continue to show up in various ways. If not in one situation, then in another. If not in one relationship, then in another. If not in those, then manifested in your body. In the therapeutic setting, space and time are intentionally allotted to process and address all kinds of things.
Creative Arts Therapies Week reminds us of the value that the arts bring to one’s wellness. As a creative arts therapist, I share the arts with clients as a way to make space for their experiences. Whether through movement, art-making, writing, music, dance or psychodrama, the arts become platforms for those parts of self to speak in whatever “language” or form chosen. Making space means allowing these feelings to come to the surface and be heard, felt, understood, and seen. Making space means sitting with the discomfort and giving it a canvas, journal, or stage etc.
Once we make space for all that is stirring inside, we can sort through and allow it to dissipate. Just like we all want to be acknowledged and heard, so too do our feelings, thoughts, etc. And once they are recognized and given space, they are soothed and calmed. And while they may not go away completely, they become more manageable and do not stand in our way.
How do you make space for the things going on within you? How can you make space for the arts this week?