Art therapy workshop by Amrita Dhillon promises to foster healing and mental well-being
The two-hour-long session brought an opportunity to create the shades of our inner call and the place was filled with a variety of paintings depicting individual emotions
For centuries, art has been used as a tool by individuals to express their complex thoughts and feelings that may be hard to express in words. And for the last few years, art has been medically used by therapists to tackle many mental health issues - popularly known as Art Therapy.
Drawing, painting, and experimenting with colours followed by a few team-building fun exercises is what makes for a perfect art therapy session. And Dubai-based Amrita Dhillon’s art therapy workshop was no different. With separate art stations armed with brushes and organic paints and canvas sheets, the therapy involved the Hauschka technique, passed down and sharpened by therapists over generations. The canvas consisted of a white sheet placed on a wet base using the wet-on-wet method of art. The two-hour-long session brought an opportunity to create the shades of our inner call and at the end of the session, the place was filled with a variety of paintings depicting individual emotions through the shades of yellows, blues, reds, and many more.
Organised at the centrally located holistic health and education center, Abhyasa in Santacruz, the specious setting with central wood-floored studio space provided a great opportunity to immerse ourselves in the painting process. Once our art piece was ready, for a surprise, we had a one-on-one session with Amrita revealing the mysteries behind our artwork followed by guidance and a few nuggets of wisdom. Undoubtedly, it was an exploration for most participants since many of us never picked up a paintbrush after school. While it was surprising to see the depth of individual artistic ability, it also provided an opportunity to cut off from the outer world for the time we were practicing our art.
“I am not surprised. I believe everyone has the potential to create as an artist. In fact, people who don’t consider themselves artists come for the session with no preconceived thoughts and can express themselves perfectly,” Amrita shared when out of curiosity we asked if she was expecting these results from all amateur participants. She also clarified that during the art therapy process, emotions and feelings matter more than a technique. “We are not worried about the technique with the participants, no one is better than the other. We largely work in the feelings sphere and not the thinking sphere as much, and believe in the power of the method,” she insists.
While the workshop left us with a calmer mind, our eyes were hooked to the space which offered warm and pleasant vibes. Therapy rooms, a consulting space set with eye-soothing greenery balanced with light wood colours, and a lovely outdoor café got us in the mood to order our favorite cuppa while we enjoyed our solitude with the rain outside.
“The space is designed with the idea to introduce Mumbai and her people to new and existing modules, tools, therapies, events and workshops. I hope these help people to gain new perspectives and ideas about their relationship with themselves and their environments,” says Varaz Printer, founder of Abhyasa who is a Qi Gong & Strength Training Practitioner, and Restorative Movement Coach. We learn that Varaz personally experienced the activity before adding it to the list of experiences at his studio.
Photo Credit: Trupti Arekar