Not Everything Fits into Boxes – Nonbinary Gender

As a nonbinary therapist in Columbus, Ohio, a lot of my clients identify as queer in some way or another.  It is often difficult to find a therapist who actually gets the in’s and out’s of going through exploring and questioning identity.  I will discuss more on how art therapy can help you explore and hold the tension of contrast and paradox in yourself, your community, and the world.

“Is it a boy or a girl?” Why is that the first question?

Blue or pink? Trucks or dolls?

Haven’t we grown past this?

People like simple, and binaries are simple; pick A or B.  But that’s not my reality, and it’s not the reality for many, many people.Trying to fit into a box that doesn’t feel right can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, confusion, and even anger.One can feel out of place as well as be subjected to judgment and discrimination…All for not wanting to check a box.

So much of the world just doesn’t get it, and it can be scary.

Comic fo man asking if child is boy or girl; parent responds that it's too early to tell

Art Therapy Can Help You Explore Freely

You won’t be judged here.

Self identity is a core part of how we see ourselves and how we interact with the world.

Part of becoming yourself may include questioning the assumptions we grew up with and finding a place or several places along the spectrum of the rainbow.

Art therapy creates a space where creative exploration of self-identity and self-expression is possible.

Art goes beyond the binaries and can hold paradox, contrast of opposing elements. A space for questioning, mystery, and the undefined.

Art therapy is a perfect way to navigate the twists and turns of self-acceptance.

Nonbinary therapist in Columbus

I’m Maggi, a nonbinary art therapist in Columbus, and I get it.I have had a lifelong interest and exploration in gender and sexuality studies.  It’s been a personal process for me with lots of questions, tension, and feeling misunderstood.

More than an ally, I come from a place of understanding that much of life falls within a spectrum rather than in binaries.
In case you’re curious, I’m bisexual, queer, and non-binary.  I’ve been in polyamorous, queer, and kinky relationships.  I am feminine presenting and choose not to wear binders or get top surgery.  For me, I needed to figure out a way to make peace with my body.  It’s an ongoing process of self-acceptance and compassion.

New Jungian Theory for the Anima and Animus

From a Jungian perspective, I am really digging the concept of the Animum, a theory developed by Dr. James Perrin.  They posit that the animum, the unconscious counterpart within us,  is a constantly redefining, constructing, deconstructing, and holding tension between how we see our sexuality, gender, and physical body.  This concept is a huge leap forward from the anima in men and the animus in women.  The strictly binary construction just doesn’t work for queers or our ever evolving relationship to gender and gender roles.

Difficult times in life can be a lot easier when someone has your back and is willing to sit with you in the dark as you wrestle with it and strip away the load of crap that society has dumped on you.

I’ll be here with you through the whole process, wherever that journey takes you.  I can’t know where that is going to be until you make your path and go about it your way.  I can help you figure out what that means for you.

How can Art Therapy help with Gender Identity?

Art goes beyond binaries.  Art can act as a container for unknowns and for emotions you may not fully understand.  Art has the unique ability to explore symbolic, contrasting, unconscious, and even uncomfortable aspects of a person. This might be in relationship to themselves, their family, and/or their community and society as a whole.

Is there something wrong with me?

The more important question is “are you suffering?”  I haven’t used the phrases gender issues or sexuality issues here because this is society’s issue and identity is a self-chosen description of who you are.  Therapy is great for alleviating anxiety and uncomfortable feelings or negative thinking, so suffering can be soothed.  A lot of times the suffering comes from the dissonance between the culture or your upbringing and your core identity.  Other times its about trauma.  We can work through both.

Why is gender identity and sexuality important?

Being able to explore and express who you are can be one of the most satisfying and affirming lifetime experiences.  In a world that doesn’t understand and can be cruel, finding a place of acceptance and celebration for yourself can be way to heal the misunderstandings, discrimination, and cruelties that can be a part of someone’s history.

How does Art Therapy work with Nonbinary, Queer, and Trans Gender Identity?

Visual exploration can help a person experiment with their identity.  You can characterize internal aspects of yourself such as qualities and characters.  You can give voice to those parts that haven’t felt free to speak.  Through art activities you can create greater distance from others you don’t want to have as much influence over your thoughts and feelings.  Art sometimes gives us a way to discover options beyond the binary that show a path of integration and acceptance.   Art can hold contrasts and paradoxes.  Not all of our parts of self are always in agreement.

Art can also be a mirror for you to see and affirm all your parts so that you start to feel whole and integrated.  Then you can be proudly, you, however you want to show up in the world.

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Have More Questions?

Schedule a free 30 minute consultation to see if we’re a good fit to work together.