You don’t have to be an artist or have any experience with art to take part in creative counselling. It isn’t about learning artistic techniques but it is about the process of producing and working with an image. We would reflect on the image and the process of producing it, finding different meanings from it, about you, and your life.
There are many different ways to experience creative counselling. A safe and non-judgemental open space is created to work in as spontaneous a way as possible. The counsellor facilitates the client to imagine a picture in their mind, using a theme which has come from a purpose that has come from the counselling e.g. an issue being reflected upon. The created article becomes a projection of the self from within that can be seen and explored.
Working with problems and issues creatively can bring a deep and meaningful understanding of them. Life is so much more dynamic than words only can express. Feelings and emotions are often difficult to express in words. Often colour, shape, form, images, can express in a helpful way those things which people find are beyond words.
It offers further containment of issues, experiences, feelings and emotions worked with in the counselling relationship. People often say that they are frightened of opening boxes, which have been kept closed for fear of not coping with what is inside. Creative counselling offers a container or holding place as people can begin to open up issues that may be difficult for the person to explore.
Here are some examples:
A person chooses images from a selection given and looks at them together with the counsellor to understand meaning.
Look at the images below. See if you can relate to any of the images? What is it that connects you to the picture?
Painting, drawing, modelling and collage form images stemming from a catalyst given by the counsellor, who is tuning into a particular theme or issue that you bring. This would then be the subject of the counselling.
Some examples of sand tray work:
The client chooses characters and items to place in the sand tray in order to reflect around something that that they wish to explore. For example a person might be looking at dynamics in a family. Characters could be chosen and placed to represent the family in the client’s world (the tray). The dynamic of the images in relation to one another and to the sand tray are explored and the client’s meaning discovered.
The seeds of much of our creativity come from the unconscious, our feelings and our intuition. The unconscious is our deep well. Many of us have put a lid over that well. Feelings can be constructively channelled into creative ventures………we can transform them into powerful art rather than venting them on the world. Such art helps us accept that aspect of ourselves.’ (Natalie Rogers – The Creative Connection – © PCCS books 2000)