Stress is a biological response to demanding situations. It manifests as physical, mental and/or emotional tension. Stress can be the result of external events related to one’s professional, personal or social environment, by internal events such as illness or surgery or self-generated such as negative thoughts & emotions.
Acute stress is triggered in response to a single event such as a car accident or performing in front of an audience. Acute stress can have a positive effect by helping people cope with new situations. The body's response to stress is usually self-limiting.
When stress becomes chronic an individual experiences frequent unpleasant circumstances which is perceived as too intense or its duration as too long, where the ability to control or cope is inadequate or non-existent.
The consequences of stress affect all aspects of your life. It can affect your emotions, behaviors, ability to think, and physical health. Chronic stress disrupts our body’s physiology leading to altered brain function leaving you susceptible to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression or health issues such as hypertension, headaches, digestive problems, insomnia, weight fluctuations, or a suppressed immune response leaving you susceptible to infections.
Besides the effect it has directly on the brain, music and art has a profound effect on our physiology. Our heartbeat and breathing responds to match the rhythm of a sound. Music listeners have a higher number of immune cells called "natural killer cells" that attack infected and cancerous cells. Chronic stress increases the hormone cortisol to abnormally high levels resulting in a negative effect on many bodily functions such as thyroid and glucose metabolism. Drawing under musical induction has been shown to lower cortisol levels by reestablishing our internal homeostasis, hence deeply relieving stress.
Decades ago, Carl Jung recommended symbolic expression through drawing or painting as a therapeutic intervention and as a way to connect with unknown inner regions of oneself. He showed, as well as other therapists who followed him, that drawing has a calming effect while allowing us to work on our thoughts and emotions in depth.
and felt prepared to process her father's death
Victoria is an active 42-year-old woman. She is married, has three children whom she adores. When it comes to her children, she has committed herself to supporting and encouraging them as they grow. She lives life to its fullest and loves her role as a mother. Despite the occasional ups and downs in her marriage she is totally invested in maintain a loving and harmonious relationship with her husband. It is essential to her to maintain a calm and stable home for her husband and children.
For the past two years, she has had to face rather difficult professional and personal challenges in her life. At work she was invested in a project that did not succeed because her coworkers on the project were not fully invested in the integrity of its outcome. It was devastating for her because this project was close to her heart personally. In the end it was not only a financial loss but a moral one as well.
During the same time, she was experiencing significant tension with her brother and cousin, her husband was struggling with some professional difficulties and one of her children had some concerns at school.
Even though her nature is one of courage and energy, when she was told that her father, was terminally ill, the news was unbearable. For several months afterward she experienced dizziness, headaches and sleep disturbances.
Aware of the tremendous amount of stress she was under was affecting her health, she chose to participate in CAP.
Drawing while listening to music quickly calmed her mind and her sleep improved. She feels supported by the CAP process which in turn helped her to be present for her father during his illness.
CAP gave her the opportunity to explore deep unconscious emotions, especially the unresolved conflicts she had with her father. When he died, she felt that she had made peace with the emotional pain she experienced in their relationship.
She was even surprised by the thoughtfulness of her feelings during his funeral. She was able to process her grief without the added burden of unresolved conflicts as well as lovingly support other family members as they grieved.
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Our process makes it safe to go back and get into your backlog, or whatever emotions you've been repressing.
This is a gentle and unintrusive method to provide you with an ongoing process to release emotional blocks,
unproductive behaviors, and cultivate a deeper inner awareness of your patterns.
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When therapists choose to use the CAP methodology that combines drawing under musical induction, writing and verbalization, they provide their clients with a very efficient tool to become active participants in their own treatment and thus facilitate self-discovery, change, and restoration.