Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Reflecting on Prayer Flags

I have used the process of making prayer flags with groups in many different ways over the years. A prayer flag is a rectangular cloth often found strung along mountain ridges and peaks high in the Himalayas to bless the surrounding countryside or for other purposes. These panels are wood-blocked printed with words and images. In our Archetype Group we made Prayer Flags as our art response to studying the Sun and Moon Archetypes.

The cloth pieces can then be hung in a covered outdoor place or inside. I have made prayer flags with clients in grief and loss groups, addiction groups and other process groups. It is a beautiful way to send a prayer out into the universe.

Rainer Maria Rilke: “Go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows.”

"We promise according to our hopes, and perform according to our fears."
~Francois de La Rouchefoucauld

Suggestions for doing a Moon Collage:
One way you can do a collage for this archetype is to think about your relationship with it and try to find images and words that reflect it. Do you include the Goddess in your Spiritual expression? Is she not yet discovered or feared in your psyche? How familiar or foreign is this realm? Another approach with this archetype is to do your collage centered around your relationship to nature. Show your feelings and thoughts about what you love, need to feel peaceful, and whole. How do you communicate with nature; is it by walking, staring at the ocean, swimming, or through your love of animals? You could fill your collage with images of Moons. Portray how this word affects you. Does it conjure up images of beautiful shimmering moons, mysterious half moons, waning, waxing, or new moons? Do you plant by the moon phases or do you bleed by the cycles of the moon? You could also approach this collage by showing a reflection of your psychic abilities. You could also center this collage around your mystical experiences and insights. Maybe you will want to do it in the light of the moonlight. Enjoy.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Focusing and Expressive Art Therapy

This weekend I taught a Level Four Focusing and Expressive Art Therapy workshop. One of the exercises we explored through art making and Focusing, started with an attunement to lightly, gently touch in with a part of us that may be holding traumatic memories, sensations and or feelings. The group experienced through Focusing, the regulatory capacity to be there for this part of them. Staying Present for themselves, staying with the experience as it unfolded moment by moment and developing the capability to give complete, unconditional regard to their wounded or traumatized part or parts helped regulate and allowed these parts to move into fresh experiencing. Our neurobiology and our interpersonal relations create a sense of our well-being. 

In Focused Centered Art Therapy we are working with attuning our relationship with ourselves and our parts and healing our attachment that may have been severed due to trauma.  The interpersonal attunement that is felt and experienced during Focusing then can be witnessed when it is expressed and carried further in art making. The attunement and resonance that happens in a Focusing Session between a therapist and client, as well as the attunement that the client feels with him/herself is carried one step further when the client expresses this attunement through paint, clay or other means. The attunement which is integral to healing is now also felt in the creative expression that the client has experienced. This consonant relationship between therapist/client, client/self, client/creative self provides stability and safety, such that the client can be with difficult, painful feelings in a way they have not experienced before.  They are able for the first time to feel a sense of “Self” and “Someone There”, as well as, but separate from, a sensation or feeling.  There is a “Me” and a “Something.”  Where once they were merged with the experience, there is now a refreshing sense of a whole person and an experience.  In the attuned therapeutic relationship, there is also the sense of alliance with another who can simply “be with” our experience in Presence, which allows life forward movement to occur.
 Art work done in workshop by students.                                                                                                


Related Posts with Thumbnails