“Be fearful! Be creative!” encouraged ELG’s Art Therapist, Tingting Chen, as she led a roomful of participants to paint a gift for their inner child during a Christmas Sip and Paint event which took place last Sunday, December 13, 2020, at Golden Tulip Shanghai Rainbow Hotel. This was an event aimed at raising awareness about mental health, organized by the Rotaract Club of Shanghai and co-sponsored by its community partners. Portion of funds raised was donated to Lifeline Shanghai, a volunteer-run, non-profit English-language crisis line and longtime friend of ELG.
Using acrylic paint on canvas, participants allowed their creativity to flow and minds to wander back to their childhood, as Tingting used her soothing voice to guide participants through the process of getting to know their inner child.
With the soft, inspiring instrumental tracks playing in background, the enthusiastic group quickly became settled as they painted their individual gifts. By allowing their adult selves to revisit vivid memories and experiences of their childhood, Tingting hoped for participants to find reconciliation and a sense of wholeness.
Art therapy is non-intimidating way of exploring your feelings, inner thoughts and experiences through the creative process which has to be conducted by a professional art therapist. Tingting is one of the few US-registered bilingual art therapists that is practicing in China.
Tingting not only motivated the group to freely express themselves through their art, but also facilitated a group sharing of their finished works. Participants truly expressed their creative side as they painted unique gifts for themselves from a hug, snowflakes, to a bridge – which reminded one participant of ‘arriving home’ since that was the first thing that greeted her as she walked home from school as a child.
This Christmas themed ‘Sip and Paint’ brought together individuals from different walks of life, from designers to educators, and even included a family of three, with both parents participating in the activity with their daughter. It was a hugely successful event with warm smiles and wonderful memories made by the end of it.
Check out what some participants had to say…
People worldwide are striving to normalize addressing mental health issues. Art therapy is one tool we have to help achieve this global goal. Let’s all create and cultivate a healthy mind!
Participant of Sunday’s Sip and Paint
Tingting’s guidance and encouragement helped me visualize my thoughts and put in a painting that I’ll cherish and keep. I loved the experience and was happy to share it with a crowd of wonderful listeners.
Tiffany Chen, Participant of Sunday’s Sip and Paint
ELG provides Art Therapy to the individual and in group settings, if you are interested in having our Art Therapist lead a similar activity at your school or organization, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.