Art Therapy Studio Chicago, Ltd.
The Anxiety Monster
The anxiety monster mostly lies in wait. Mostly. It begins with a tap dance on our stomachs and plays marionette with our nerves. Our bodies feel shaky at the times we need to present as calm and collected. Our minds whisper stories of distress and failure when we most need to be reminded of our successes. The anxiety monster doesn't care; it delights in the chaos of it's reign. We send our managers to go "take care" of the monster. This executive crew shows up with solution after solution - rationally problem solving their way through the fray of our somatic throes. Sometimes it works. Sometimes. If we cannot abide the lightening electricity crackling internally or the GI war against invisible enemies, we send in our fire-fighters. These folks work immediately and fast to set us on a different path. Our anxious energy is channeled into urges and impulses. We find ourselves doing things we did not intend and our intentions have run a ground. The anxiety monster is quelled. ...temporarily. Whatever emotions, behaviors, or thoughts awoke the monster to begin with are exiled to the dark recesses and corners of our brains and bodies. The anxiety monster lies in wait.
Lately I've been having some anxiety. It's all very normal and healthy anxiety - mostly related to self-imposed and conscious challenges to push myself. However, this anxiety has brought along some old anxiety. It's clung to my new anxiety like mud. It's somehow reminded me of the Internal Family Systems model. If you want to read more about it.... http://www.selfleadership.org/
At any rate, there are some subtle nods above to the system: managers, firefighters, and exiles. Additionally "GI" here is a reference to the gastrointestinal system; something which, for me, is often impacted by anxiety. If you're curious about how to manage anxiety in creative ways, connect with us at http://www.art-therapist.org/
In this interview with WCRX Chicago, Founder Mary Andrus talks about art therapy, trauma, and how art therapy can help people. She outlines the work at the studio and talks about the Art Works course, educating others and the resolution of trauma. Take a moment to listen and learn more about art therapy! Recorded on April 28, 2015
Dr. Mary Andrus DAT, ATR-BC, LCPC