De-Stressing with Art Therapy—Color Me Well

Taylor Isaac, Student Reporter

Color Me Well inspired students to get in touch with their inner artist during the event’s  kick off Thursday afternoon on Sept. 8. The workshop used art therapy as a means of relieving stress and anxiety through self-expression.

Following an integrative mental health approach, art therapy—under the guidance of trained art therapists—has been proven to increase self-awareness, build emotional resilience and affect how the brain reacts to stressors.

Hosted by Marshall’s Counseling Center, the Color Me Well workshops will run for five weeks on Thursdays from Sept. 8 to Oct. 6 in East Hall 115.

The sessions start with an art-based activity followed by a group discussion afterwards. The event will feature a wide array of creative mediums to experiment with: paints, pencils, markers and more.

Attendees do not need any prior experience with therapy or art according to Morgan Conley, coordinator of case management and student development. 

“These exercises are less about how gifted you are as an artist, but more about exploring different topics and ideas,” Conley said.

Ryan Mahjer, Be HERD mental health specialist, co-instructed the first meeting with Conley. He explained that art can be used both as a hobby and as a coping strategy for those who struggle with their mental health. 

“With art therapy it’s not only getting people in touch with not only the emotions and feelings that they have,” Mahjer said. “But also cultivating a skill within students that they can rely on here and in their personal lives.”

A second five week  group workshop will be held later this semester called Color Me with Mindfulness which will focus on increasing thoughtful behaviors. Registration for the second sessions will open later this month and begin on Oct. 13.

Due to group size limitations, any interested students should contact Marshall’s Counseling Center for further information.