Group Art Psychotherapy
“Group therapy is unique in being the only therapy that offers clients the opportunity to be of benefit to others…."
(Irvin D.Yalom )
Art psychotherapy can be utilised to explore social issue themes
Art psychotherapy Group work is flexible to work in both directive and non-directive modalities in exploring themes that might help participants understand themselves in a societal context . Group work can include racism , disability , ethnicity , LGBTIQIA+ , and cultural issues. I work with women’s groups , men’s groups and mixed groups.
Art psychotherapy can help participants give their emotions/feelings a voice
Unlike talk therapy there is no emphasis on the ability to articulate oneself, art psychotherapy is non-intrusive and the process of making and creating can be a language in itself. There is also absolutely no need to be good at art or drawing.
Art psychotherapy sessions – can provide a safe space
All the art psychotherapy sessions are bound by ground rules and group boundaries that ensure privacy, and a safe sanctuary that people can trust their feelings to be seen and heard in confidence.
Understanding others can help the group members to understand themselves
Group work has the potential to help participants learn from the concerns of others, discovering that they are not alone, that others share similar dilemmas and have similar experiences in life. In group therapy it is not uncommon for a member to benefit by observing the therapy of another member, and thus group members can learn from each other.
Art psychotherapy can promote interpersonal relationships
Group art psychotherapy helps promote social skills by providing the opportunity to practice re-engaging with oneself and other people in a confidential, safe, and inclusive space.
GROUP CASE STUDIES
Mary (age 36) A mom of 3 children found that it was really good to find that’s she was not the only person who felt this way , as she listened to other members of the group , who had different -but similar type feelings and emotions. “I felt that I was not alone in how I felt and when I spoke, I could use my art therapy creations as a way of navigating through some very deep emotions …."
Jennifer ( age 42 ) whose hero was the ‘Mums of the world’ , found that the group art therapy sessions were really invigorating and fulfilling as they gave her a space in her busy life to be herself. "I really enjoyed rediscovering myself , who I am …. my independence…. . I always felt safe in my group ….“
Audrey ( age 70 ) was somewhat apprehensive , as she did not know how to draw or paint. But she found that she did have to know anything about drawing or painting . Audrey found herself in a group with others who also knew very little about painting or drawing . “Art therapy gave myself a voice…, as I would have found just talking in a group very overwhelming ….” Patrick has a really nice gentle way about him and help me, help myself , by gentle guiding - through the series of therapeutic sessions. “The group members where extremely respectful and just listened without any interpretation or comments.“
Lisa ( Age 23) found the whole process very empowering , as found that there was a lot of wisdom on offer in her group and felt that she could engage in the art therapy process as a young woman without being judged or stigmatized. “It felt so good to connect and reconnect to other people in person."
Michael ( age 25 ) got involved in art therapy group work and found himself in the minority surrounded by women participants. In the beginning he was unsure, wondering “Why men don’t come forward to therapy - why are there no men’s groups to help men with their emotions and feelings …” Although in the minority he felt that he learnt a shared commonality with all ,of the participants , regardless to their gender , as many really trusted themselves in the safe therapeutic space.