First workshop of the year…

Can’t believe it’s nearly three weeks since I returned to work after the Xmas holiday break. This year, I’m continuing to offer individual art therapy, counselling and reflective practice sessions in my home studio, and happy to say, I’m back doing my thing at Directions Health in Woden. I have a feeling 2019 is going to fly by as quickly as last year 2018 seemed to!

Here is a glimpse of the first workshop of the year at the Directions Health Arcadia House rehab program. I came across this art therapy directive* in 2014 when I was developing the program. I’ve included the journal reference at end of this post. The activity is specifically designed as a strategy to encourage the processes of self-reevaluation, consciousness raising, and dramatic relief.

The task has two parts; (1) “Depict yourself as you imagine you will be in a year if you make the changes that support recovery.” (2) “Depict yourself as you imagine you will be in a year if you do not make the changes.” This allows the client to visually explore the reality of changing versus the reality and associated consequences of not changing (Holt & Kaiser, 2009).

Participants said they were happy to share their representations and insights; ‘… might help someone.’ Here are some of the representations and the key words and phrases that stay with me…

‘Fire and Ice’ 
On the right; ‘fire… energy… balance…’ and on the left; ‘where I was… a cold place… don’t want to go back’

Left: ‘This is how I want to live my life… ‘ – Right: ‘behind bars… no freedom…’

Right; ”this is what it’s like… always felt like I was just holding on… dangerous… waiting to fall…’      Left; ‘freedom… calmness… grateful… love…’

‘… where I’ve been… just what it looks like…’

*Reference: Holt, E., Kaiser, D. H. (2009) The First Step Series: Art therapy for early substance abuse treatment. The Arts in Psychotherapy Volume 36, Issue 4, September 2009, Pages 245–250