Ever since “the olden days”, fairytales speak to people through rich imagery and symbolism, representing personal and archetypal processes relevant to all humans. In this hands-on online workshop, each participant will have the opportunity to choose and paint scenes from a Grimm’s fairy tale, producing a sequence of three images. In the final session, we will reflect on the individual and collective meaning of the story through the series of images created in the previous sessions that we will share with one another.
For mental health professionals, this exploration and lived experience of working with archetypal forces with personal inner imagery in this way is a critical part of training oneself to guide patients in their own journey of working directly with the psyche as described by Jung. This workshop is a hands-on activity for adults and does not require previous artistic knowledge. Please note that the aesthetic quality of the image is secondary to the dynamic of the process and the expression of meaning. Painting inner images is a non-verbal method to contact and symbolically express the unconscious, which may not yet possible to formulate otherwise. The painted images that each participant creates, will not only reflect what is going on within at this very moment, they also effect the group as a whole and provide deepening for all.
Describe how the process of using painting as a way of working with one’s personal imagery can be of value in the therapeutic process
Describe some of the difficulties that can occur when a patient is expressing inner images through painting
Describe what is meant by Jung’s concept of the shadow
Give an example of how working symbolically with inner images can help patients integrate and work more consciously with their shadow material
Describe how painting symbols from the unconscious can have a healing effect on clients by working more directly with defensive structures such as splitting, projection, and projective identification.
Describe how this technique can be helpful during times of emotional transition
Describe how creating an image with the hands can stimulate a more active attitude and why this might be critical in working with patients with depression.
Give an example of how symbolic content expressed through painting images of the unconscious can help mental health professionals guide clients through trauma and crisis situations.