If we all felt acknowledged and safe to express our feelings and thoughts, the world would be a better place. Understanding how we feel and what beliefs we hold are important and potentially life changing concepts. No one wants to feel stuck in their life. How will we know where we're stuck if we dont take a look?
Though hard to face, we are rewarded when we acknowledge and learn more about our pain. We receive priceless rewards from this work, like insight, release, self-compassion, awareness and/or growth, just to name a few. The seemingly simple act of expressing our feelings with a compassionate, safe witness can be both cathartic and healing.
Using a creative tool like Express Your Story can make this process of self-exploration less threatening for clients. When a client creates a visual representation of their life using symbols and art, they can then look at their situation from a new angle. Looking at life objectively, from new angles can help clients process unresolved feelings and develop new coping strategies.
Feeling empowered means different things to different people. For me, empowerment means understanding my emotions and thoughts, being compassionate towards myself and feeling capable of setting boundaries. Part of "moving on" entails expressing feelings, feeling validated and developing self-compassion about the ways in which you have coped with feeling hurt.
Lesli Mitchell, LCSW
I received my B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in Sociology. I completed one semester of graduate social work from Columbia University in NYC and then transferred to California State University Long Beach in 1997 to complete my MSW. My LCSW license number is #20928.
In my over 20 years of social work practice, I have always included art in my work with clients. Talking about situations and painful expereinces is helpful, but art encourages the intuitive, unconscious knowing that is part of all of us. Art is a different language. Express Your Story was born out of my natural connection to art as a healing agent. I have naturally used art in my work with clients from various populations, including foster care, high school students, sex traffic survivors, recovery and addiction, mental health, criminal justice and more. Art has the capacity to inspire, engage and motivate.
-Lesli Mitchell LCSW