CLAWSON, Mich. (WXYZ) — It’s normal to feel stress, anxiety or depression during these uncertain times. But you can find some comfort and counseling through virtual art therapy.
“It’s about the meaning behind what you’re creating,” said Shazia Siddiqi, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Board Certified Art Therapist. She has a Masters in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling.
She recently opened Let’s Art About It – an art therapy studio in downtown Clawson where she holds group workshops and one-on-one counseling.
But in light of schools and businesses closing due to the global pandemic that’s upending our lives, she’s now offering art therapy workshops online – such as Finding Calm During Chaos, Coping with Change, and The Art of Calm.
“You will not need any supplies other than some basic printer paper or scrap paper, a pen or a pencil, some scissors, and glue or tape…and a magazine,” she said in a video demonstrating how the sessions will work.
She’ll add new topics and projects each week that are relevant to the pandemic. She’ll hold at least two virtual community workshops a day via video conferencing.
They’ll range from 45-minutes to an-hour-and-a-half in length.
The cost? $30 for 45 minutes / $35 for 90 minutes.
She is also posting free mini projects on her Instagram page -- @letsartaboutitstudio – geared towards families or individuals trying to make the most of being cooped up more at home.
She already has a following after opening the studio in downtown Clawson in November.
You might describe the vibe of the place as a cross between a coffee shop and a candy store.
Colorful art supplies in glass jars fill the shelves. Calming eucalyptus and candles set a relaxing atmosphere. And you can sip tea while you try your hand at a new creation.
Carla Carafelli of Farmington Hills has participated in five art therapy classes – including a one-on-one private session.
“[I am] kind of finding myself and working on trying to shed some layers of trauma and just kind of being shy or afraid of doing things. So, [the art therapy] really kind of got me out there doing fun stuff again,” she explained.
Carla’s husband Vince is now joining her because he saw how much she loved it.
“To come here and release tension or whatever may be bothering her through art has been a real blessing to her,” said Vince Carafelli.
Private individual counseling/art therapy sessions are available for anyone looking for a more in-depth personal exploration.
Siddiqi can provide a receipt of services to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement after paying for sessions out of pocket. Individual counseling and/or art therapy sessions are available Sunday through Saturday by appointment.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (248)397-4649 for more information.
“This is beyond just coming in and relaxing and making art. This is about real self-discovery, and it’s about using that discovery to feel better, to heal," explained Siddiqi.
The virtual classes are a place where you can express, explore and understand your emotions. But what sets these apart from painting party shops is the sessions are curated by a Board Certified Art Therapist/Licensed Professional Counselor.
Virtual Community Workshops can be scheduled and tailored to any group to focus on a topic of your choice or for a special occasion, business team, non-profit, celebration, or just for fun.
Virtual Private Workshops are also available for family, friends, and special groups. Virtual Psychotherapy is also available with HIPAA compliant video conferencing.
Shaddiqi’s advice right now for those worried about this global emergency?
Focus on what you can control. Stay connected with people. Take this time to possibly rebuild relationships. You can do this over FaceTime, Skype and phone calls. This is especially important if you live alone. And because change can trigger a lot of emotions, try to maintain a routine.
And, also, try to include some fun in your day.