I use art therapy as a powerful and effective way to explore and express feelings of disappointment. Through the creative process, individuals can externalize their emotions, gain insights, and begin a journey to find peace and find healing. Kids and adults can create art to show how they feel without having to put their feelings into words.
In my previous article, How to Deal with Disappointment as an Adult, we talked about disappointment coming in many packages, mostly misread by ourselves as well as others. Most of us were not taught the emotion, disappointment. In my experience, disappointment is many times wrongly identified as anger. Individuals are more than comfortable showing anger, even identifying a feeling as anger when the feeling is actually disappointment.
Art therapy helps explore those unnamed feelings of disappointment. It is a brilliant concept I use daily in my therapy sessions.
Here are some art therapy techniques I have used for dealing with disappointment:
- Emotion-based art: Create art that represents emotions related to disappointment. This could involve using colors, shapes, and lines to express feelings visually.
- Collage: Create a collage using images and words from magazines or newspapers that symbolize disappointment or how to envision moving beyond it.
- Visualization and drawing: A guided visualization exercise focused on their disappointment. Afterward, invite the patient to draw or paint what they saw and felt during the visualization.
- Scribble art: Use scribbles or random marks on paper as a starting point. Then, transform these marks into a representation of disappointment.
- Clay or sculpture: Using clay or other sculpting materials, shape disappointment into a physical form. This process can be both therapeutic and cathartic.
- Personal metaphor: Create artwork that represents disappointment as a metaphor. It could be a landscape, a weather phenomenon, or any other symbolic representation.
- Altered book: By using an old book, transform its pages through art to reflect their feelings and experiences related to disappointment.
- Art journaling: Keep an art journal to process their feelings of disappointment regularly. Use various art materials, such as drawings, paintings, collages, and writing.
- Letter writing: Write a letter expressing disappointment to a specific person or situation. Keep the letter or tear it up as a symbolic release.
Art therapy offers a non-verbal and non-threatening approach to exploring emotions, allowing individuals to delve into their feelings of disappointment in a safe and creative way.
It can provide insights, foster self-awareness, and promote healing and growth. However, if someone is dealing with severe emotional distress or trauma, it’s essential to seek the guidance of a trained art therapist or mental health professional.
Disappointment can be your friend if you approach it with the right mindset and use it as an opportunity for growth and learning. Here’s how disappointment can be a positive force in your life:
- Reflection and Growth: Disappointment can prompt you to reflect on your expectations, actions, and decisions. It can be an opportunity for self-evaluation and personal growth.
- Realigning Priorities: It can help you reassess your priorities and determine what truly matters to you. Disappointment can steer you towards more meaningful pursuits.
- Resilience and Adaptability: Dealing with disappointment builds resilience and the ability to adapt to challenges, making you better equipped to handle future setbacks.
- Empathy and Compassion: Going through disappointment can make you more empathetic and understanding towards others facing similar challenges.
- Setting Realistic Expectations: Disappointment can teach you to set more realistic expectations, helping you approach situations with a balanced perspective.
- Motivation for Improvement: Disappointment can be a strong motivator to work harder and strive for improvement in various aspects of life.
- Discovering Strengths: Handling disappointment can reveal your inner strength and capacity to cope with adversity.
- Opportunity for Creativity: It can inspire creative problem-solving and innovative thinking to overcome obstacles.
- Appreciating Success: Experiencing disappointment can make your successes and achievements even sweeter by providing contrast and appreciation.
- Building Character: Dealing with disappointment with grace and resilience can build character and a positive mindset.
Remember, disappointment is a natural and common human emotion.
Instead of avoiding it, embrace it as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Learn from disappointments, and use them as stepping stones towards a more fulfilling and enriched life. It is a choice! It’s all about how you respond and choose to grow from the experience. More to add to your bag of tricks, otherwise known as coping skills for life.
Dealing with disappointment can be difficult and overwhelming but you are not alone! If you are struggling right now, let’s talk. You can book an in-person or virtual visit.
Email or call anytime to schedule an in-person or virtual session. (817) 701-5438 | firstname.lastname@example.org
CRT, CCDC, CACC | Counselor & Life Coach
Empowering individuals, families and communities to grow and heal through advanced approaches in Creative Arts Therapy, setting the standard for treatment, practice and training within the field.