Creative Therapy

Jennifer Edge has opened up a new store unlike any other in Monroe — Primitive Soul Art Studio. The store is the Oregon native’s brainchild created with the intention of bringing healing through art to all ages in the area. Edge is an art therapist and artist, having worked with various populations, including developmentally disabled individuals, children in schools, including Monroe’s Alternative Charter School, children from violent homes, teenagers experiencing alcohol and drug issues, psychiatric patients in hospitals, the elderly, and children and teens with autism.
Art therapy is a long-practiced technique in healing others, according to Edge. The concept comes from Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung’s research into the unconscious and looking at dreams and imagery. Then in the 1930s, women started working with children and started calling themselves art therapists, Edge said. The school of art therapy then was developed and first used with refugees from Nazi Germany and then with troubled kids in New York and Los Angeles. “It’s a form of psychotherapy and using art to process whatever emotion a person is feeling,” Edge said. “It’s been used with war veterans, cancer and AIDS patients, and children experiencing trauma in their lives.” Though art therapy is an important part of her studio, Edge stressed it’s not the only reason for people to experience her studio. She wants people to come in simply to enjoy art. “It’s not just therapy-based. Art is for everyone,” Edge said, adding “it’s not about the product or the end result but the process of making the art, releasing the feelings, the emotions people have. I’d really like to take a person back to when they were 2 or 3 and play and have fun with art making.”

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