Reflection of Personal Artwork Remedy Experience as Facilitator

  • Brett Cartwright


I have chosen to do my representation on the Artwork Therapy Focusing model where I facilitated a process for my client, who for the purpose of confidentiality we will call 'Jemima'. This program was conducted at the Phoenix Institute of Australia as part of the learning model offered by my lecturer within the Skill Therapy Module. During the "establishing" (Malchiodi 1998) the area process I travelled about finding a proper area and ensuring there have been sufficient items conducive of a skill Therapy period, such as pastels, newspaper, and markers, and a case in the corner filled with Artwork Therapy materials, should Jemima wish to use different things. Upon the completion of the establishing process, I quickly checked out in with myself to ensure I had been capable of positioning space for my customer before walking in to the holding out area to greet Jemima, appealing her to become listed on me in the area. Once in the area I enquired about how exactly she felt regarding the comfort of the area and offered her the opportunity to rearrange it in any way she observed fit, also directing out that there were many more fine art products in the nook cupboard. Jemima nodded and said "I'm actually quite happy with this" making a bodily gesture toward the previously setup space. Now sitting down, we started out to talk about how her day was heading so far and if there is anything specific she'd like to focus on. Upon creating an intention for the session I suggested that people try a skill Therapy Focusing process and proceeded to make clear what would be engaged. We began by drawing her attention into her body, in search of a 'Was feeling Sense' (Gendlin 1996) eventually finding a graphic that possessed an 'emotional quality' fitting to the intent we had placed for the time. I then expanded an request to open up her eye and bring the image to concretised form on the paper, welcoming her to open up a dialogue with me at night about the process if she observed fit anytime, which she recognized but declined. All of those other period was quite silent and required bit more than my presence, "unconditional positive respect" (Rogers 1980) and retaining of the area to help in. Jemima indicated when she acquired completed her image, at which time I asked her to close her eye again, inviting her to bring her consciousness back to the room and slowly drawing her out of the focusing process. At this point I asked her if she could tell me how the process was on her behalf. I let Jemima know that the period was approaching to an in depth, offering her the possibility to express anything else that might attended up for her during the process, and we shut the session. Then i invited Jemima to provide representation on my performance as a therapist, required some notes, and the entire process was complete.


I believed quite comfortable entering into this process as I am fairly familiar and confident with the centering process from both the 'Focuser' and 'Associate' perspectives. Also, I've worked with Jemima on lots of occasions and have developed adequate rapport with her, making for a beneficial and healthy restorative relationship. Having said that there were, and always are, a degree of nerves for me personally when stepping into the role of therapist, as I've recently uncovered via an empty couch process that I have a dominant interior critic that has generated really strong insecurities around professionalism. This is, however, coupled with intense thoughts of enjoyment about acting out the complete procedure for a therapy period and the learning that comes from the experience. By the end of the procedure, as always, I found myself remaining with mixed emotions. I became highly stressed and critical about how precisely I performed as the therapist, plus some of the reviews I received from Jemima, again in conjunction with an aspect of enjoyment about having managed to get through the procedure without the major hiccups on my end.


At the time I noticed things went sensibly well for both customer, and myself. It looked that your client had really were able to embody the Artwork Therapy Focusing process. The "To arrive" process (Purton 2004) was easy and appeared to flow quite well as we gradually drew Jemima's awareness toward her inner-world, looking for a Thought Sense that eventually matched that of a 'Protector' (as referenced in the Analysis section below). Through the entire creation of the artwork I made a few observations about certain things, like the way Jemima smiled when the image of her protector emerged to her; the actions and motions of her strokes on the paper which were shown as being "helpful for so this means making" by your client; and the pressure she seemed to apply to different regions of the page. The end of this period felt a little rigid and clunky after reflection, as I always seem to involve some amount of trouble tying things off without interrupting the client's process.


Upon examination of the period and the responses given by the customer, it would appear that it was a productively therapeutic treatment that helped your client in "clearing space" (Gendlin 1996) and developing a "safe space" using a graphic of your "protector" as tools created by Judith Herman and detailed by Rappaport (1998), that your client is now able to refer to in consecutive classes to help return to that feeling of safe practices, if the client resonates strongly with that image. There was the possibility for a couple of intersubjective responses, when i had several images with protective qualities appear for me while i was witnessing the client's process unfold, which I held back credited to some nervousness around projection and interpretation as I did so not need to impact the client's process in any way.


In Conclusion, upon reflection of the content of the program from both my perspective and the reviews given, I realise that there surely is a level of incongruence, and minor lack of unconditional positive respect in not sharing my intersubjective responses with your client. Thus putting distance between myself and the client, and in turn creating a lack of attunement. As a final note, there is certainly very little I would change about the process apart from exercising more congruence and working on developing better skills around closing the period.


Malchiodi, C. A. (1998). Setting up: Attracting on Environment and Materials. The Art Therapy Sourcebook: Skill Making for Personal Expansion, Insight, and Change. (p. 79 - 102)

Rappaport, L. (1998). Focusing And Art Therapy: Tools for Working Through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Centering Folio, Vol. 17 (1), (p. 2-3)

Gendlin, E. T. (1996). Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy: A Manual of the Experiential Method. NY: Guildford Press. (p. 57-58)

Purton, C. (2004). Focusing as a Taught Process. Person-Centred Therapy: The Focusing-Oriented Strategy. UK: Palgrave MacMillan. (p. 90)

Rogers. C. R. (1980). Characteristics of the Person-Centred Strategy. A Way of Being. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. (p. 115-116)

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)