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Posted On: 2nd Oct 2017

Art of Survival

Courtney wants to show how creativity can help people overcome challenges
Courtney says creativity helped turn things around for her
Art therapist and lecturer Jane Scheuer appears in Courtney's film

'The bullies would pick on me. They would call me names relating to my hair, my weight, my looks. They would throw stuff at me, they would get other people to join in. There were even a few cases when I was hurt physically.' 


Things got so bad for Courtney Thomas that she started self-harming and tried to take her own life.


It was only when she started to explore her own creativity that the 16-year-old from Daventry began to turn things around.


Courtney turned to writing, drawing and recently crafting dramatic scenarios on the theme of bullying and how to overcome it.


'My Fixers project is to show that creativity can help you get through the toughest challenges in life,' she says.


Courtney told her story on ITV News Anglia on October 5. 


'It’s a way to express your feelings without having to tell them to someone personally. For example, I have drawn a picture of a girl. 


'She’s got no face, just hair and her body, and on each part of her body I have written some of the things I have been called – like 'ugly', 'fat', a 'slag'.


'There have been a few occasions when I wanted to self-harm again but instead I got out my pencils and my paper and just drew an arm and drew cuts on it.' 



Jane Scheuer, an art therapist and lecturer at Warwickshire College, says: 'It’s well known that the act of creating is therapeutic in itself.


'As well as that, with somebody who’s undergone a trauma, it’s a way of externalising what’s going on inside the mind, to hopefully make sense of it and reflect on what’s going on.' 


Courtney adds: 'I would be happy if, instead of people going down a dark path, they go for the more creative way to express how they feel - through drawing or writing instead of negative ways of dealing with it. It could really help you because it really helped me.' 


To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.


Author: Paul Larsmon


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