So some days are harder than others. It is amazing how often I find myself quite sure of what I know about something but quite unable to capture it in words. I suppose this is one of the fundamentals of art therapy – that words are not always a good representation of experience or even knowledge. So today my battle has been with heuristic and hermeneutic. As an extension (or perhaps at times a contradiction) to phenomenology, the boundaries are blurred and trying to encapsulate the independent definitions and the application within art therapy of each of these concepts, my brain has turned to mush. If I had 3,000 words in which to explore the concepts I might be fine, but alas, I only have 500 words to cover all three.
None-the-less, I have reached the 14,000 word mark, but each 1,000 now requires a great deal of thought and effort.
Wonderful things have happened though. I sometimes reach the end of a paragraph and feel quite chuffed at how it has come together.
- “In order to further explore the art, the therapist may use one of many techniques. The possibilities are endless and only limited by the therapist’s knowledge and experience with art making, mediums and qualities. It is for this reason that ongoing personal art making is so important for students, and indeed for experienced art therapists. It is essential to be practiced and confident to move fluently from one art process to another and to be quite sure of how the medium will respond to, and assist, the client in achieving outcomes consistent with the goal. Training also gives the student an ear for the sensory and experiential metaphors that a client uses to dialogue with the art, and this provides cues for the therapist in offering further direction.”
- “A therapist creating art themselves within a client-centred art therapy model, is not common practice but does have a place, particularly in a ‘Call and Response’ art process. Perhaps the client, whilst creating an image, demonstrated a range of emotions and body language that the therapist can mirror. Just as paraphrasing is a valuable tool in verbal counselling, a reflective art piece that mirrors the client’s pattern of behaviour during the art making, can be very useful.”