Friday, July 18, 2008

Art Therapy: Group Therapeutic Art

In my Art Therapy work, I do a lot of group work. Here are the guidelines I set out for art making of group art when the intent is therapeutic.

* Trust yourself in your art making process- there is no right or wrong way.
* Your art is a reflection of what you may be feeling right now. You are always changing.
* Resist comparing your art to others. Your creative style is unique.
* Give yourself permission to experiment, play, take risks, and be curious about the process.
* Give yourself permission to reflect on and accept your real feelings before you engage the art materials.
* Don’t let preconceptions about what art is or should be interfere with the pleasure of creating.
* Allow yourself to let go of negative judgments from past experiences such as school: they don’t matter any more.
* Give yourself quiet time after to reflect on the experience of art making. This reflection may include journal writing or note taking or simply thinking about your experience.What is needed at this moment? It is important that we always respect our own boundaries of personal comfort and readiness to confront what may be difficult issues.
* Above all, have fun, invite pleasure and curiosity, and allow yourself to experience the simple joy of working with the art materials.

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