Between art and therapy: using pictures from the world of art as an Imaginal focus

David Maclagan


This paper addresses some of the problems encountered in group art therapy workshops, such as the inhibitions people feel in talking about someone else's image, and the restraints these impose on the exercise of imagination and fantasy in their response. It also offers a safe way of experimenting in a group workshop, using imagery, whether written or drawn, as a way of exploring an image that is not the creation of any person in the group, and therefore a less sensitive focal point. The perspective adopted is broadly post-Jungian, and the workshop has been tested in a variety of settings including both art therapy training and open workshops.

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