Art Therapy, Other News, Psychology

Color Therapy & Healing – An Introduction

From Art Therapy Blog

It is everywhere you look, and everywhere you don’t look. You delight in its marvels both consciously and sub-consciously. You see color all the time, but how often do you think about its origins and effects? In a series of articles, we are going to explore this topic further. With this first article, we’ll go over some basics of color therapy and healing. You can read the next 2 articles here: 1) Color Meanings and 2) Color Psychology. You can also download our color meaning and symbolism charts.

Topics covered in this article:

  1. What is Color?
  2. An Introduction to Color Therapy
  3. A Brief History of Color Therapy

What is Color?

As most of you know, color is light and energy. Color is visible because it reflects, bends, and refracts through all kinds of particles, molecules and objects. There are a variety of wavelengths that light can be categorized, producing different types of light. Visible wavelengths fall approximately in the 390 to 750 nanometre range and is known as the visible spectrum. Other wavelengths and frequencies are associated with non-visible light such as x-rays & ultraviolet rays. Most people are aware of the effects of non-visible light, so it makes sense that visible light would also affect us.

One example of the way light can affect us is a mild form of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which causes many people suffering during winters.

An Introduction to Color Therapy

Color therapy and healing (also known as chromotherapy or light therapy) is a type of holistic healing that uses the visible spectrum of light and color to affect a person’s mood and physical or mental health. Each color falls into a specific frequency and vibration, which many believe contribute to specific properties that can be used to affect the energy and frequencies within our bodies.

While it is common knowledge that light enters through our eyes, it’s important to note that light can also enter through our skin. Given the unique frequencies and vibrations of various colors, people believe that certain colors entering the body can activate hormones causing chemical reactions within the body, then influencing emotion and enabling the body to heal.

Colors are known to have an effect on people with brain disorders or people with emotional troubles. For example, the color blue can have a calming effect which can then result in lower blood pressure, whereas the color red might have the opposite effect. Green is another color that may be used to relax people who are emotionally unbalanced. Yellow, on the other hand, may be used to help invigorate people who might be suffering from depression. (We’ll dive deeper into specific colors in a future article.)

Alternative therapies also believe that a person’s aura contains different layers of light which can be used for cleansing and balancing. Knowing the colors in your aura can help you better understand your spirit, and thus help you better understand how to heal. Additionally, the colors surrounding you can also have various effects.

A Brief History of Color Therapy

It’s no mystery that the sun and its source of light (or lack thereof), can have a profound effect on us. Thousands of years ago, some countries began exploring color and its healing capabilities. Egypt, Greece and China are known for their forays into color healing and therapy. A few examples include:

  • Painting rooms different colors with the hopes of treating certain conditions.
  • Utilizing colors in nature in their surroundings (blue from skies, green from grass, etc.)
  • Healing rooms that utilized crystals to break up sunlight shining through.

There is evidence of people attempting to use color for healing and therapy from as far back as 2000 years. And it has gained in popularity throughout the years, with numerous books being written about it, including Johann Wolfgang Goethe who studied the physiological effects of color. As we mentioned though, many people are skeptical about using color and light for healing or therapy.

Stay tuned for upcoming articles over the next few weeks where we’ll introduce color meanings and symbolism, how we see color, and the various effects of specific colors.

Does color affect you? Let us know in the comments.

Other News, Psychology

18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently – ReBogg

By Carolyn Gregoire

Creativity works in mysterious and often paradoxical ways. Creative thinking is a stable, defining characteristic in some personalities, but it may also change based on situation and context. Inspiration and ideas often arise seemingly out of nowhere and then fail to show up when we most need them, and creative thinking requires complex cognition yet is completely distinct from the thinking process.

Neuroscience paints a complicated picture of creativity. As scientists now understand it, creativity is far more complex than the right-left brain distinction would have us think (the theory being that left brain = rational and analytical, right brain = creative and emotional). In fact, creativity is thought to involve a number of cognitive processes, neural pathways and emotions, and we still don’t have the full picture of how the imaginative mind works.

And psychologically speaking, creative personality types are difficult to pin down, largely because they’re complex, paradoxical and tend to avoid habit or routine. And it’s not just a stereotype of the “tortured artist” — artists really may be more complicated people. Research has suggested that creativity involves the coming together of a multitude of traits, behaviors and social influences in a single person.

“It’s actually hard for creative people to know themselves because the creative self is more complex than the non-creative self,” Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University who has spent years researching creativity, told The Huffington Post. “The things that stand out the most are the paradoxes of the creative self … Imaginative people have messier minds.”

While there’s no “typical” creative type, there are some tell-tale characteristics and behaviors of highly creative people. Here are 18 things they do differently.

Read more about “18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently

Community Resources

NAMI | Advance Directives

Advance Directives

by Ronald S. Honberg
National Director for Policy and Legal Affairs


Jane, a 36-year-old woman suffering from schizoaffective disorder, is very frightened. In the past, her experiences in public psychiatric hospitals have been very traumatic. The last time she was hospitalized, the psychiatrist responsible for her treatment could hardly speak English. When she tried to explain that she didn’t want to take certain medications because they exacerbated her tardive dyskinesia, he either didn’t understand her or dismissed her as someone who was not capable of speaking in her own behalf. He prescribed Haldol to her, which, in fact, was one of the medications she didn’t want to take. She describes her hospitalizations as terrifying, dehumanizing experiences. “It’s not that I’m opposed to psychiatric treatment”, she says. “I know that I need treatment for my brain disorder. But, I’m not willing to accept treatment when I am given no say in how I am going to be treated. I would rather go to jail or become homeless again than to have to go back to the hospital.”

Mr. and Mrs. Smith have seen this happen so many times before. Their son, John, who suffers from schizophrenia, has stopped taking his medication. This, they know, will lead to gradual decompensation, with potentially horrendous consequences. Each time, they must stand by and watch their son deteriorate until he becomes so ill that he meets the state’s criteria for involuntary commitment and forced treatment. Each time, they worry that their son may not survive this episode. They worry that he will commit suicide or will be hurt by someone else because of bizarre and unpredictable behaviors stemming from his untreated severe mental illness. They also hate having to go to court to involuntarily commit their son. These periods of decompensation are particularly agonizing because their son, when he is doing well, has expressed on numerous occasions his understanding of his need for treatment and his appreciation of his parents for intervening when he is helpless and unable to help himself. Yet, when he goes off medications, he shuns his family, denies his illness and his need for treatment. “There must be a better way,” Mrs. Smith sighs. “I can’t bear to stand by and watch John suffer this way.”

These vignettes describe two scenarios quite familiar to persons with severe mental illnesses and their families. Consumers frequently experience situations in which they are given little control over important treatment decisions. Families just as frequently are frustrated by having to stand by and watch their loved ones deteriorate and suffer.

Psychiatric advance directives have recently emerged as potentially helpful tools in resolving these problems. There are essentially two types of advance directives. Instruction directives”, such as living wills, provide specific information about treatment and related wishes of individuals drafting them (declarants) should they lose capacity to make these decisions on their own. “Proxy directives” assign “health proxies” or “health care powers of attorney” to individuals entrusted to act as substitute decisionmakers should declarants lose capacity to make their own decisions. Frequently, advance directives combine both of these forms, blending specific instructions about healthcare preferences with identification of individuals assigned “health proxies.”

Continue reading….

NAMI | Advance Directives.

Other News

OPEN HOUSE: Invigorate Life Counseling Office

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St Paul, MN 55105