Creative therapy sessions offer clients an imaginative method of working through feelings and difficulties. There will be space to talk and reflect as well as creative expression. No previous experience or skills are necessary. I will offer a variety of creative methods of therapeutic work such as image making, dream exploration, story making and traditional story work, and dramatherapy and play. The therapy is based on the theories of Analytical Psychology and C.G.Jung. Importance is given to unconscious expression through drama, art, play and dreams. I am not an analyst and do not analyse clients dreams or creative expression. I can help clients to give shape to their unconscious fantasies and ideas and this can provide a container for powerful feelings. Working on and observing the work together can help clients to reflect on their feelings and difficulties and lead to discoveries of the unconscious state.
Elsewhere on my blog, I have written in more detail on some of the metho...
Dreams contain helpful information from the unconscious and I encourage clients to write down their dreams. It can also be healing to draw or paint images from them. It can be helpful to explore a dream or an image from a dream in therapy. I am not an analyst and do not analyse dreams for clients but can work creatively with dream material. In group work it can be useful to enact a dream, allowing the dreamer to direct the enactment and to observe the dream again consciously. In group or individual work the client may like to try taking on a role or image from the dream and exploring this with the therapist. This work can help to make the content of the dream more conscious and lead to new insights. For example, a dream may have struck the dreamer as overwhelmingly negative or frightening but in exploring the images with the therapist or group, more positive themes may be discovered.
I do not publish client's dreams. All images pictured were made by me.
One way of working imaginatively with emotions and difficulties is to create images. This can be done by drawing, painting, making a collage or modelling in clay/plasticine. The image may represent a feeling state or be an imaginative representation of a problem or life situation. Images may also be taken from dreams. You do not need to be 'good' at art or to create 'perfect' pieces. Finding an image for an emotion or difficult situation can help to create some distance from the state and allow the client to look more objectively at the experience. Making the image allows the unconscious to emerge and often the image contains information that the client was not aware of. Making the image can be healing in itself but it is also useful for gaining more information about the unconscious situation. The image gives the client something concrete to see and to keep and it can act as a container for powerful feelings. The characters or scenes that are created could then be used as the starting...
I use traditional stories, myths and fairytales and sometimes children's stories with groups and individuals. Children understand and enjoy the language of story and stories can help them to safely explore difficult themes. Teenagers and adults may be able to recognise aspects of themselves and their lives in traditional stories and use them to creatively explore problems. C.G.Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist, proposed that traditional stories are an expression of the collective unconscious and deal with typical problems that are repeated in all people through the ages. Marie Louise Von Franz, a prominent analytical psychologist wrote extensively on the interpretation of myths and fairytales and her books help to explain their relevance to modern lives. Traditional stories can be used to explore archetypal themes such as becoming an adult, family problems, death, change, relationships and creativity.
I often use pictograms with clients as they are a great way of gaining some distance from a problem and helping to see things in a new way. They are also very useful in allowing people to explain how they are feeling. I ask the client to choose several objects and to create a picture with them to show me something - maybe a difficult situation they have just experienced or a significant event from the past. We can then discuss our responses to the picture and the client may or may not want to explain the story behind it. Making the pictogram can be a therapeutic experience in itself but it can also be used to begin thinking about what may be happening for the client and what they would like to change.