Therapeutic Art Group: What's it Like?


I'm joining an Art Group. I had to say the words slowly. Why? Because I am so bad at art that aged 14 I was told I wasn't allowed to do a GCSE in it. And before you think 'aw, you can't be that bad,' let me assure you that I am. Add to my poor imagination the fact I have BPD and being in a group meant a whole host of difficult personal interactions with people I didn't know, and you can see the idea was anxiety-provoking.

As it turns out I was wrong on all levels. See, I'm so bad at art that it's actually quite good. Who would have thought? The group gave me time and space and encouragement to express myself in an arena where my fellow participants all understood the reasons why we were there. I made friends with other BPD sufferers - something I always find inspiring - and I got to take a couple of hours out just to do something I wanted to, for no real reason other than to enjoy myself.

The group was a supportive and friendly place to be, where I didn't feel self-conscious and I didn't have to explain myself to anyone. There was no pressure to do anything, or create anything of any real worth at all; nothing was scrutinised either. I enjoyed the whole process and I created some art for the first time in nearly thirty years. OK, so what I've done is nothing more than something to frighten my CPN, but I had such a great time making it all. It's been therapeutic - the Group really did do what it said on the tin.

I hope I continue to make more art, because I've found I enjoy it. No greater praise.

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