Worry and Growth

By Jackie Carrera, MSEd, Resident in Counseling in Northern Virginia 

I’ve been thinking about the struggles that we have been experiencing during this stay-at-home period. It has been a challenging time and many people are experiencing a lot of worry or fear. I have seen this in the art world, with friends, and hear it from individuals that I speak with. Many of the worries that we experienced before the pandemic have been exacerbated. The book Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland asks questions about art although they can pertain to many situations.

Some of the questions are:

1) What is the art really about?

2) Where is it going? We can think about this in the context of worry: What is it about? And What function does it serve?

In the book the writers talk about worry about yourself and worry over how others will receive you. There are many types of worries. Sometimes an artist is so consumed by worry that they stop making art. The artist may stop growing. As an artist, I don’t experience worry over the end result of a work of art although this wasn’t always the case. When I first started painting I was often worried of how my art would be received and it stopped me from exploring other mediums. I now approach art-making as a process where I am challenged to grow. 

This is true for exploring worry or fear in therapy or outside of therapy. Exploring worry may increase it in the moment although it will also ask you to examine the source of the worry and challenge you to grow.


About Jackie: 

Jackie is a Resident in Counseling providing counseling services in the Alexandria location. Jackie earned
an M.S.Ed. from Old Dominion University in Mental Health Counseling and has training in art therapy. In addition to her counseling background, Jackie also has a degree in the arts with an MA in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Jackie is a humanistic counselor who provides person-centered counseling in both English and Spanish. She is dedicated to providing a safe space for clients to explore experiences and to work towards positive changes guided by their desired outcomes. Jackie believes that compassion, collaborative dialogue, and trust are important in the therapeutic process. She has experience with cognitive behavioral therapy, strength based counseling, solution-focused counseling, the use of creative arts in counseling, and motivational interviewing. To learn more about Jackie, visit HERE.

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