Art therapy helps students ‘cope with stress’

Greta Lazzarotto

As an effort to help healing, growth and self discovery, counselors promote art activities open to all students. The Counseling Center has the workshop “Discover U @ MSU”  March 20- April 3 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Sunwatcher Clubhouse.

Counselor Ginger Boller, organizer of the event, combined her job skills with her passion for art to offer students a different way to deal with college life issues. According to Boller, art activities have different benefits.

“My bachelor’s degree is in art, and my master’s degree is in counseling,” Boller said. “I do a lot of art therapy with my clients, and I wanted to create a group for other students, who don’t know or are not interested in coming to individual sessions.”

The Counseling Center members created these events to open new horizons and help students. According to Boller, art activities have many different benefits.

“It can help students getting in touch with their feelings, cope with stress, or simply give them an outlet,” Boller said. “It’s a good chance for students to explore different areas of their mind and also meet other students.”

Ann Marie Leimer, associate professor of art history, said she encourages students to attend these events.

“It allows [students] to free their brains, to think and to be creative,” Leimer said. “Creativity and finding solutions to problems are keys today, and through art, students can develop those qualities. Thinking and problem solving are two activities required to find a job in the future.”

Art sophomore Jake Thornton, agrees with Leimer that, through art, people can learn or improve problem solving skills.

“In making art, as in life, things don’t always go the way you plan,” Thornton said. “You just need to find another way to make your piece look even better.”

Boller organizes new art activities every week, all from different artistic mediums. Last week’s workshop was poem writing, and Boller said it included both writing and drawing.

Leimer also said that any type of art activity, through its process, is helpful to students for self-discovery.

“The medium isn’t the message, but the process is,” Leimar said.

Thornton agreed with Leimer’s statement, and expressed his feeling about art and its meaning to him.

“What I love about making art is the freedom I get. When I’m painting or drawing I feel like I have no worries, and time does not matter,” Thornton said.