Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Focusing Oriented Art Therapy

I just returned from a wonderful retreat in Sans Jose California, where I studied Focusing-Oriented Therapy with Ann Weiser Cornell (Inner Relationship Focusing) and Glenn Fleisch (WholeBody Focusing).
I presented my work of combining Art Therapy and Focusing to the group.If you are interested in this work, I will be presenting a three day workshop at Valley Ridge Studio in Madison Wis. next year on my work Focusing Oriented Art Therapy.
What is Focusing Oriented Art Therapy:
- In somatic art therapy we are working with the rhythmic flow of the body.
- The artwork is a way of becoming present and reflects the felt sense.
- The body supports and gives meaning to psychological states.
- Emotions find their affective expression through movement and art.
- Focusing and bodily sensing can awaken early memories and experiences.
- By creating art from a place of body awareness, clients see the ways in which their growth and development have been constrained and art expression has the power to redress these constraints.
- The art making is pre-articulate and comes from the felt sense.
- Somatic art therapy provides a deep awareness of one’s whole being on a sensory level and an ability to work with parts or pieces of being while holding the totality of the whole self.
- The ability to stay in Presence while working allows the client to safely experience and explore parts that may be hurt, fearful, ashamed, traumatized, or in pain.
- The therapist provides the safe container in which the client moves into and out of her/his inner process safely.
- Growth is a neuromuscular reorganization.
-Through art expression and sensory explorations our bodies discover and develop their healing capabilities. The art is a way of tracking this discovery.
- Tapping into the creative flow helps us tap into our own internal creative flow that helps us know who we are physically, emotionally, and cognitively.
- Playing with and knowing our creative expression helps us know our health expression. It has a unique pattern, flow, as does our creative expression.
- Knowing where we feel and act in the most creative way helps us identify what internal and external environments nurture us most so we can continue unfolding and growing.
- In moments of ‘embodiment’ you resonate on a deeper level and these resonation's can be recorded, expressed. This is psychosomatic integration.
In Focusing Oriented Art Therapy:
Art object:
- is only a product of the moment
- has a pattern, structure, and rhythm that reflects the pattern, structure, and rhythm of our selves, it is an externalized map of the internal self
- is about art, art is about describing the world and art is about the maker
- is about the archetypal, touching the archetypal aspects of our origins
Play is:
- trusting our spontaneity, entering imagination, the unexpected and interesting.
- going where you are attracted, staying away from struggle
- a way to enter joy and pleasure, having free expression, and attuning to the things around us
- moving into nonlinear, intuitive and spontaneous expression
- not being careless, it means being free
Process not product:
- When you create art for process, not product, you can go anywhere, do anything, as there is freedom and endless possibilities.
- There are no rules, just being in a place of not knowing, staying curious, present and mindful.
- Process art making is being spontaneous and suspending judgment.
- Process art making is finding the energy and creative potential in all states. Wherever you are is the entry point.
- Being in beginner’s mind allows us to perceive things freshly, see media with fresh state of mind and tapping into a sense of well-being or authenticity.
- Seeing is as important as doing, expanding your sensory awareness: touch, sight, smell, sound, seeing patterns, themes.
- Play and art can open up the creative cognitive processes: broad scanning ability, fluidity of thinking, flexibility, insight, synthesizing abilities, and divergent thinking


Jennifer White said...

Karen, this looks like it was an amazing trip...what fantastic pictures! I'm sure the weather didn't suck either ;-)

I can't wait for next year's workshop, this sounds amazing...I am in the process of getting some structure back in to my life (making the attempt anyway) and hopefully can begin focusing on some of the things we talked about when I met you a few month's back.

Carolyn Abramofsky said...

I agree with Jennifer. Fabulous pictures of the trip. I am also looking forward to the Focusing Oriented Art Therapy workshop at Valley Ridge.

Unknown said...

Hi Karen,I'm came across your Art Therapy web site while doing research for my master's degree in art therapy.I have been absolutely blown away by it and have learned so much,THANK YOU !!!!


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