WHAT IS EVOLUTIVE ART THERAPY?
Evolutive art therapy enables people to break free from destructive emotions and self-limiting beliefs by using media such as drawing, paintings, music or writing. It is aimed at helping individuals to become fulfilled.
Evolutive Art Therapy can be used to:
· Awaken potential
· Revitalize a person’s resources qualities and talent
· Develop empathy and intuition
· Develop personal or professional projects
The approach is innovative and efficient.
The main principals of human psychology and the analysis of symbols are applied within a practical and theoretical framework in order to interpret and transform the students’ artwork.
· Trains Evolutive therapists
· Works with private individuals and companies
· Proposes on-to-one sessions and workshops for individuals and professionals
Plenitude school sets a high value on intrinsic human qualities and respects the freedom of individuals.
To draw an emotion, a relationship, an aspect of one’s personality, a dream, is an activity which, in itself, often provides relaxation and fulfillment. Through this means, some real aspect is conveyed to what was previously experienced as confused, blurred, or merely imaginary. Expressing oneself (through drawing, writing, dancing) has a liberating effect as children and adults are well aware.
Evolutive Art Therapy proposes not only to express oneself through drawing (or any other support) but considers the whole as a privileged access to the psyche. That is why L'ECOLE PLENITUDE offers a method of symbolic analysis perfected by Marie Odile BRETHES. This analysis is both intuitive and rigorous, and takes account of the symbolism of shapes and psychology, giving us a better idea of the conflicts, which are expressed. With the help of this approach the drawings appears as a document revealing what impedes the blossoming of the individual or what is breaking down their life dynamic. Analyzed and understood, the drawing will be an irreplaceable tool towards progress and liberation for the patient and the therapist.
Myths, archetypes and psychoanalysis of the qualities are, among the approaches, at the heart of this analytical approach. The idea is to accompany the individual towards the realization of his potential and the creative changes in his life.
THE TOOLS OF EXPRESSION
Some of our ex-students get involved with mosaics, create symbolic pieces of furniture, objects in Raku, in clay, sculpture and the musicians explore music or sing. Quite a few already have good practical experience of a practice but some discover new tools which mean more to them (e.g.photo, scrap booking).
Artistic expression reveals what is in the self.
Each person puts down on paper, canvas, clay, or with movement, songs or words, a message that has been held in the psyche which can now be expressed and communicated with the outside world.
All these forms of expression are analyzed through analogies and symbolic language.
In Evolutive Art Therapy, the reading of symbols, signs or expressions is learnt as a language. As in dreams, the synchronicities, large scraps of the story, emotions, beliefs, feelings and aspirations of each person are revealed.
L'ECOLE PLENITUDE uses artistic media and expression depending on the tutors tastes and gifts, and on the student too. When one knows the language of symbols, all media are a means of expression which can fit in with the therapeutic and evolutive process.
Facing up to welcoming and freeing oneself difficult emotions can be achieved mostly trough pastel drawing. Easy to use, pastel enables one to quickly set on paper a strong emotion and to read the drawing immediately without waiting for it to dry. Soft or oily pastel helps therapeutic work within a one or two hour session. Children use it easily: the softness of dry pastel allows many therapeutic applications.
Pastel drawing on paper offers the possibility of cutting out, collages and the transformation of symbols.
When the drawing reveals great suffering, it can be torn up, burnt, crumbled thus allowing the student to symbolically create an act of liberation.
Painting on canvas embodies, thanks to matters such as acrylic, pasting of paper, mixed techniques or gouache and creates a vitalizing and stabilizing picture.
Writing of a text: writing a text helps to highlight important decisions and commitments to be made.
Listening to music chosen by the therapist will allow the integration of a quality, and can also awaken an emotion or a memory…
Music and the practice of drawing can be joined together to accompany the emotional process
Singing favors self-expression and enables one to free oneself from accumulated tensions bringing immense comfort
Dancing allows one to feel comfortable in one’s body and through gestures allows one to imagine qualities, to identify oneself with them and to inscribe them into one’s cells e.g. the dance for joy, for love or for peace.
Mosaic, theatre, creation of clothes, of games...
Art is the medium; EVOLUTIVE ART THERAPY is the orientation, which will allow blossoming in a conscious and beneficial way.
THE GREAT AUTHORS
Certain writers have revealed (to all those who are interested in the human psyche), the existence in the unconscious of a supra- conscious scheme, “a self-consciousness” in the psyche in which our potentials (the wonderful qualities of the human being) vibrate.
These authors have proved the reality of the self (according to eastern terminology) and the soul (according to western terminology).
This self-consciousness enables us to have access to an inner union. All these innovators have insisted on the ability of the human being to evolve and develop qualities leading towards a growth and a widening of one’s consciousness.
CARL GUSTAV JUNG (1875 – 1961)
A psychoanalyst: he was born on July 26th 1875 at Kesswil in Switzerland. He studied medicine and specialized in psychiatry. He met Sigmund Freud in 1907 and became one of his disciples until their views strongly diverged. In 1912 Carl Gustav Jung parted ways with Sigmund Freud.
Jung discovered the power and magnitude of the collective unconscious by exploring the deepest layers of the unconscious at the risk of being lost in them. He told of his diving into the archaic symbols in his splendid book “My Life” written at the age 83, so he had nothing to lose in revealing himself totally. He presents his book that way
“My life is the story of an unconscious mind which has accomplished its own realization”
In his interior progression Jung, in much of his research, explored mythology and alchemy. He studied the female aspect of man’s psyche which he called "anima", and the male aspect of the woman psyche which he called "animus". He introduced a new notion on the classification of psychological types. He also developed his own analysis of dreams. Jung makes a distinction between the personal and collective unconscious constituted of archetypes. He also developed the concepts of the self and individuation, the final stage of Jungian analysis.
Jung and Art Therapy
He worked on drawing through the exploration of the mandala: here is an extract of one of his articles on an experiment of the individuation process through an analysis built around drawings of mandalas achieved by a female student:
“… In that piece of work, I tentatively tried to understand and revealed what goes on within the mandala. What happens in fact is a picture of the obscurely felt changes outside the conscious perceived by the eye “turned inwards” and made visible through crayons and paintbrush, just as they appear, escaping from comprehension and knowledge. Those pictures are some sort of ideograms of the unconscious contents. I of course applied that method on myself too, and I can assert that it is indeed possible to paint complicated picture without knowing anything at all about what they really mean.”
Extract from “The soul and the self, rebirth and individuation”,
Carl Gustav Jung – Albin Michel Edition.
ROBERTO ASSAGIOLI (1888-1974)
Roberto Assagioli was a thinker of the 20th century, a wise man who completely involved himself in advocating a new way of thinking in psychology: “transpersonal psychology”. Roberto Assagioli was an Italian, a Venitian, neurologist and psychiatrist. He met Freud and then Jung when he still was a disciple of Freud at the start of their similar research work in 1909.
Assagioli was somebody who had focused on the quest of wisdom. He was interested in symbolism very early on.
He was a very discrete man and there is no biography on his personal life.
Assagioli cultivated what could be called “impersonality”: the quality of a person detached from the fame and success that generally any scientific personality is looking for.
His impersonal way of giving, was his unconditional commitment but this put a severe dampener on his celebrity. He had no admirers to express exaltation and build up projections around his work.
This may account for the fact that in spite of the innovating and transforming qualities of his work, Doctor Assagioli is unfortunately not wellknown today in France.
He exclusively put forward a new form of psychology focused on the sublime of the individual, on the presence of a supra conscious in the psyche:
He initiated in his conceptualization of psychology the eastern meditative psychology which allows one to discover the self, the Atman, with western thought which demands in psychology a whole rational explanation based on a logical reasoning beyond the empirical.
He mainly wrote numerous articles assembled in various books which are now out of print.
“Transpersonal development”, “Principals and techniques of psycho synthesis”, “the liberating will”
He founded numerous psycho-synthesis centers worldwide.
ABRAHAM MASLOW (1888-1974)
Abraham Harold Maslow is a precursor of the psychology of qualities and the sublime.
Of Russian Jewish origin, he was one of seven children. He was solitary and took refuge in books. He first read Law in New York. He married Bertha Goodman and had two daughters.
He studied psychology at the University of Wisconsin, and then studied by the side of Harry Harlow who was known for his experiment on the behavior of babies’ monkeys.
He got his PHD in psychology in 1934 and returned to New York. He became interested in the sexuality of human beings. He became a professor and at that time met numerous psychologists including Adler and Fromm. In 1951 he got a chair in the department of psychology at the Brandeis University for ten years and then became president of the department of psychology. He met Kurt Goldstein who inspired him with his concept of the realization of the self. He then started to put across his humanistic idea of the psychology of the blossoming of the being. Considered as the father of humanistic psychology, he moved away from the behaviorists and university people as well as from the Freudian practitioners to insist on the importance of the human beings’ creative power, of his need for accomplishment and his achievements. He put forward the ideas of expression: self realization and paroxistic experiments (privileged moments which can be suddenly lived through during a particularly intense sexual experience, but also while listening to music or through some artistic process felt as an ecstatic state putting the person in touch with his own highest aspect. Maslow studied the psychology of the sound human being, aspiring to self realization. In this respect he gets nearer Carl Jung who studied the process of individuation and the realization of the person's potential.
Abraham Maslow is popular for having made clear his vision of the evolution of the human beings’ consciousness through the diagram of a pyramid of needs. The diagram demonstrates that human beings can have access to some aspirations or desires only after their physical then emotional then mental needs have been fulfilled.
But the pyramid of needs particularly reveals the existence for the human being whose fundamental needs have been met of meta needs: the need for knowledge, for feeling that one belongs to a larger dimension of the universe, the need of accomplishment and understanding of the meaning of life. Maslow particularly wanted to demonstrate that the human being once he has been able to free himself from his needs of survival, becomes a social being who opens himself up to the esteem and comprehension of the others and can at last come to terms with himself both socially and spiritually.
His pyramid of needs is as follow:
Esteem and respect of oneself and the others
Socialization: friendship, share and affection.
Security brought by moral and physical protection
Survival: physical needs as eating, drinking, sleeping etc…
Human beings cannot get to self-realization without having met the other needs first. An individual who feels safe, satisfied, who fully esteems himself, who has been cured of his deficiencies, craves for other realizations.
Therefore in order to grow, he needs the help of a psychology which fosters growth, a psychology of these qualities.
Maslow’s last book which he wrote just before his death came out in France at the Eyrolles Edition in 2006; “Human Nature and its Plenitude” brings together the results of his research at major intuitions on the positive potential of human nature.
His philosophy insists on the blossoming of the Being and his ontic values (truth, the good, completeness, beauty, justice, simplicity, fluidity…) They lead him to ask himself the meaning of “being completely human”.
The Evolutive Psychology and Evolutive Art Therapy we are teaching at L'ECOLE PLENITUDE are aligned with Maslow's philosophical and psychological school.
ERICH FROMM (1900-1980)
“To live is ceaselessly being born”
Fromm was a Jewish German humanist who boasted the values of love as the sole alternative to the destruction of humanity.
He studied the psychic mechanisms pushing some people to the morbidity and suffering which, in his book “The Passion of Destruction, Anatomy of Human Destructivity” he called necrophilia or a death wish. He distinguishes these people from others who love life to the full and radiate it. He named them “biophils”.
He studied psychoanalysis, Buddha, Marx and Freud. Like Assagioli, Fromm brings complementary thoughts together. Early in his youth he studied psychology, philosophy and sociology at Heidelberg, then attended classes at the psychoanalytical Institute of Berlin.
In 1930 he was a psychoanalyst practitioner at the Institute of Social Researches in Frankfurt University. In 1934 he immigrated to the USA where he carried on teaching at Columbia University in New York. In 1948 he settled down in Mexico. He worked at the University until he retired in 1965, devoting himself to writing.
He committed himself to the Movement for Peace, and was one of the founders of SANE, the most important pacifist American movement against the atomic arms race and the Vietnam war.
He had a profound reflection on the Freudian theories and questioned them in his book “Grandeur and Limits of Freudian thinking” (Robert Laffont edition, Réponses collections).
Fromm spoke with his heart, his faith, and proposed to man questioning “the society of possession” to move them on “the way of the being”.
“If it’s true, as I attempted to show it, that love is the sound and satisfactory answer to the problem of the human existence, then the whole society that warts the development of love must eventually perish of its own contradiction with the fundamental exigencies of Human Nature. No, to talk about love is not to preach, for it is to talk about an ultimate and real need of each human being”.
The faith of the possibility of love as a social phenomenon, and not as an individual phenomenon of exception, is a rational faith based on the intuition on Man’s True Nature.
(Erich Fromm, conclusion of the book “The art of loving”, Desclée de Brouwer edition).
DIVERSITY OF ROUTES
Our school trains art-therapists and also accompanists to growth; people who have had very varied human experiences or life routes, but share a faith in everyone's potentiality, the capacity of resilience and change, a humanist philosophical orientation as well as artistic aspirations and inspirations. So our School welcomes school teachers, educators, young people who aspire to give, artists, housewives among others.
ACCOMPANIMENT OF THE PERSON
In agreement with the ethical charter quoted below, we establish a rewarding interaction during a one-to-one exchange. However, it is our knowledge in psychology and symbolism, which marks us out as professionals and gives to the accompanied person a way of seeing himself and offers him the basis for better knowledge of himself.
Our approach is tailored to fit each individual and the time they need for each stage of development is taken into consideration.
CONTINUOUS TRAINING AND RESEARCHES IN THE FIELD OF EVOLUTIVE AND TRANSPERSONAL PSYCHOLOGY
The Evolutive® art therapist keeps on working on himself, being in search, attending supervision, exchanging and sharing their practices.
Most of the time the Evolutive® art therapist himself practices creative expression, painting, sculpting, writing, dancing, singing and continues to develop his creativity. The trainers of the PLENITUDE school consider themselves as creators. Their Evolutive practice enables them to observe the creative process, to study it, to accompany and teach it.
The Evolutive® art therapist also works on his projections, his transfers and counter-transfers or mirrors effects, and continues to explore his emotion within the frame of supervision.
The “authority” of the professional in the helping relationship is inscribed in a field in which the consciousness is in constant relation with the unconscious (an individual or collective one, a mysterious and non-circumscribed one). Each art therapy session allows for a privileged moment in which the conscious and the unconscious meet and speak to each other.
The Evolutive® art therapist does not work exclusively in the physical world but also in a psychic and symbolic one.
The Evolutive® art therapist develops a benevolent empathy towards people they accompany, ensuring he does not put any physical, psychic, moral or spiritual pressure on them which would result in a limitation of the beneficiaries own free will.
In a wider sense, he incites the accompanied ones to vigilance, to discernment, in front of groups or individuals who would not normally abide by those ethics.
TO SUM UP
The Evolutive® art therapist binds himself:
To respect the physical and the moral integrity of the person.
To respect the patients free will.
To respect the confidentiality of the workshop and private session.
To attend regular supervision
To share ones experiences and discoveries.
To continue professional development and training.
To work according to the ethics of the Evolutive® psychology taught at the PLENITUDE school.
Thank you to the “Real Review” and for their charter of professionals of the aid relation, which inspired us for the writing our own charter.