You can play with clay

I have known Mrs. Chaitali Gupta for many years now. She is extremely talented, promotes Warli and other folk art and she has been giving back to the community in her own simple but very effective manner.

Her eco-friendly ganesha making workshops are very popular in the community and infact she was among the first to initiate it on a large scale. Everyone loves the whole process of making the idol using clay from the nearby lake to takehome a Ganeshaidol beautifully decorated with natural colours.

Mrs. Gupta is involved with remedial education for the children who live in the nearby slums of IIT Mumbai. She is also an expert in conducting clay therapy sessions for healing.

Clay therapy — doesn’t it sound interesting? Hereis what Mrs. Gupta shares about clay therapy.

What is clay therapy?

Clay therapy, a form of artistic therapy has a substantial capacity to contribute in the therapeutic process of emotional release and healing. In children it starts as a play therapy.

Unlike clay which is administered on the body for beautification purposes, Clay therapy is a totally different experience altogether. Here, one will turn emotions and expressions into tangible shapes by one’s own sensory control of clay.

Clay Therapy is a powerful medium to help people convey and work through many issues such as anger, grief and loss, fear, guilt and blocked speaking. Instead of traditional talk based therapies, clay therapy is especially helpful for people who find it difficult to articulate their feelings including children and adolescents.

How does Clay Therapy Work?

Clay has the capacity to quickly absorb and express what we are feeling, especially when we are not clear of our thoughts and we feel stuck or unable to work through our problems.

Clay enables one to express experiences that otherwise remain buried. Through working with clay, we will find the answers to certain issues troubling us, such as the trigger cause of our anger with someone or the cause of our fear or emotional wounds.

It is marvellous to see the capacity of clay to quickly absorb and express feelings. The immediate feeling is a very cold damp heavy one which slowly transforms with the clay merging in the hands and getting responsive to any feeling shown.

How does clay therapy help?

At times when our deepest feelings and thoughts are hidden beyond our consciousness and we feel stuck unable to grasp clearly our problem, clay therapy comes to the rescue.

As they work on the clay, members pour out their stories of pain and abuse, anger, pain powerfully without words. It is a way to heal life.

Clay work in therapy provides a powerful medium to work through many issues: anger by making the anger sun, grief by making a flower, fear and other bad feelings by making a coil, and healing by making a clay mural or sculpture of their choice.

About her clay therapy workshop experiences:

The members of the group join hands with each other to experience and share the positive feeling they felt. They realise how Clay therapy moves a person from painful emotional experiences providing processes for healing and transformation of difficult experiences. During the session, they feel free to express and resolve feelings regarding a certain issue and develop expressions of self-protective safety.

The therapy thus offersan atmosphere where every individual could be him/herself , and provided him/her a medium which could give both communication with others and confrontation with the self.

It is rightly said by Jim Rohn — “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

Clay Therapy is suitable for children above 7 years to adults.

Originally published at http://charukriti.org.

Artpreneur| Storyteller | Founder -Studio Srnga