“I am a service user from Accrington, I have been a service user for approximately 2 years after I was forced to leave my employment due to a physical disability. This unfortunately was the trigger for my increasing depression and anxiety.
Over the past 2 years I have been subjected to every kind of therapy I could imagine however the only thing apart from the support of my friends and loved ones that has helped me to manage is my increased love of photography. This started as nothing more than taking a few snaps of my travels whilst working as an international coach driver (the job I was forced to leave) but has grown with me throughout probably what are the darkest moments of my life. My increased passion for this art has shown me that there is a whole new side to me that I never knew existed.
I was never any good at art and to this day I still can’t draw or paint but I have found that with a little help from a magical box, I too can create beautiful images. I now look at art in a completely new light an with a new found understanding. It has brought me a whole new circle of friends and companions who I can share new experiences with, and slowly I am starting to enjoy my new self and to believe that I have a purpose and an identity again. I have also been fortunate enough to use my new-found skills to help others in similar situations to myself, as well as being featured in a couple of exhibitions and local arts and heritage projects.
I continue to recieve support for my mental health issues through Hyndburn community restart but I feel that there is now a light at the end of the tunnel (albeit quite a way off yet).
Posted in Art Therapy, Depression, Matt Howard, Mental Health, Photography
Tagged anxiety, art therapy, black and white photography, depression, matt howard, mental health, mental spaghetti, wellness
I recently received a submission from Harli Tree, who lives with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Harli Tree prefers her ‘alters’ to be addressed so I will be describing Harli as ‘they’ rather than ‘her’ and ‘she’. Harli runs an impressive website for art and photography and I urge you to go and spend some time on it. They were also recently interviewed by Art Therapy Blog. I have linked to both below the bio from Harli, below.
“We were diagnosed about a year and half ago and have weekly talking and art therapy and that has now developed quickly into a website for showcasing our art and photography. We were recently featured artist on www.arttherapyblog.com where you will see an interview and our art, and in the reflections magazine and on various other art websites – we have also exhibiting our work at an exhibition in Norwich and have 2 paintings in an exhibition at Royal Brompton Hospital.”
“We live, work and create whilst experiencing the daily challenge of Dissociative Identity Disorder. There’s the host and eight alters and photography has recently become a creative form of expression for one of the alters and the host, whilst all of us engage in Art Therapy. The use of art in therapy enables us to communicate and express our experience in a safe way. It allows us to discharge and process these difficult experiences and feelings which, once outside, can be reflected upon by all of us. The images created help different alters to meet one another and to begin to engage with the different self-stories that they each hold for the host.”
Walking into the Fire
Harli Tree’s interview and featured on Art Therapy.
Harli Tree’s website.
More images from Harli Tree below…
Evil Passage of Time
Posted in Acrylic Painting, Art Therapy, DID Art, Harli Tree, Mental Health, Painting, Photography
Tagged art therapy, did, Harli Tree, mental health, multiple personality disorder, photography, wellness