Art Therapy

Art Therapy

Those are the pumpkins I have colored.

When I look back and try to remember the art therapy sessions in a locked ward of the psychiatric clinic I was in, I have mixed feelings. It was definitely the best part of my stay in that ward, but I still felt imprisoned. I needed years to remove the stigma I had attached to arts and crafts. Today, however, I do art therapy at home and I am proud of my products. You can see a sample in the photograph left.

I use water colors on paper or gouache colors on clay with passion and the memory of the locked ward is gone. Or at least it doesn’t hurt anymore. I use old postcards or my photographs as models for painting small water color pictures that I stick to birthday cards and Christmas cards. Sometimes I get an inspiration to make small statues of clay. When they dry, I color them with gouache and later spray them with gloss. I use them to decorate our apartment. This time I colored dried pumpkins for my mother. She managed to dry them fully, which means they are completely hollow and the paring is hard like wood. Of course they lose color, when they dry out to such an extent, thus they don’t look really pretty. I colored some of them the way they looked fresh and I used my imagination with the others.

The work I do here on my web page and elsewhere on the internet, working hard to make sure my book gets to as many people in need as possible, is hard. I love it, but no matter how much I love it, I still need an additional activity to balance my mind. It is an old Hebrew wisdom that people who work in an “intensive thinking” occupation, should also have a very practical activity. That way their brain can have some time off. That is why the famous Dutch Jewish philosopher Baruch de Spinoza was also a lens grinder (see Wikipedia).

Take care,


2 Responses to “ “Art Therapy”

  1. Jen says:

    Hi, a group of fellow authors and I have a book, ‘Check Mates’ I’d like to introduce you all to. Our website is I’m looking for people that would be willing to write a testimonial and tell their story. It will be posted on the website under the resources tab and will be shared and will help spread the word about mental illness. I see you suffer from Schizoaffective Disorder and was wondering if you’d like to message me your story. You can use your real name, a fake name or simply remain ‘Anonymous’. If you have any questions please send me a message here as I will be checking frequently. Thank you in advance! Jen

    • Helena Smole says:

      Dear Jen,

      I am honored you are asking me for a co-operation in your project. However, at the moment I am very busy with my book and at the same time need to take some rest this and next month. This March I intend to take part in a Phyllis Krystal seminar which for me is a demanding 4-day seminar.

      And regarding my story: It will be described in my book in the first chapter. Of course I could send you a short version of it, but I would like to publish a longer version in my book first.

      It would be great if you contacted me again in a few months. I wish you and your colleagues a lot of success.


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