Creative Pathways

An Introduction to Using the Arts in Therapy

Saturday 2nd August 2014

Corbis-IH195674We spent a rich and fun day exploring how to develop creative possibilities within ourselves and our clients. A big thank you to the wonderful women who participated, bringing such intelligence, openness and good humour.

Much of the learning was experiential; people used art-forms to explore their own thoughts and feelings, in the roles of client or facilitator. I introduced simple techniques throughout the day, for psychotherapists and counsellors without specific arts training to use in practice. These included using postcards, working with objects and story-making. We played games, both for the fun of it and to develop our metaphorical and descriptive abilities.

Play, as the renowned paediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott pointed out, is of central importance in psychotherapy. It enables us to flexibly explore new ways of seeing and being, to ‘rehearse the possible’ and release creative energy to enable change. During the day, I communicated my passion about cultivating imagination and using the arts in psychotherapy; providing clear reasons as to why and how they can be used effectively. I believe that by becoming more actively alert to and supportive of imagination in therapy, we empower people to heal and grow.

“The earth is not flat and neither is reality. Reality is continuous, simultaneous, complex, abundant and partly invisible. The imagination alone can fathom this and it reveals its fathomings.” (Jeanette Winterson, 1995, p151).

Here are some comments from participants:

“A fab experience. I’m taking away the confidence to be more creative.”

“Kate very quickly established trust within the group. I thought we all worked together really powerfully.”

“Very positive. Great handouts and I’ve learnt techniques – that’s good for the price! I would recommend you.”

“Really enjoyable and interesting – lots of food for thought in client work.”

“I’ve gained some new insights into myself, and some ideas for integrating creative tools into my counselling.”

“Thank you for an inspiring day.”