I recently read Pat B. Allen's Art Is A Way of Knowing for class and to my burned-out-on-school surprise, I read the whole thing in one sitting and felt pretty stoked about the experience.
I've been thinking a lot about what art in/as therapy means to me, as previously mentioned and I realized somehow while reading this (although I'm not quite sure where, when or how that light bulb turned on) that my best art therapy happens when I am not in the role of art therapist and this image popped into my head...
On one side we have the totally exposed art therapist and I wrote down some of the ways I use A.T. in my personal life (blurred out for the web masses) and then I have someone in a burqa to represent not a statement about womanhood but how I have gone about doing art therapy thus far, along with a randomly found quote from one of my group A.T. directive books.
This started sorta coming to me after I made this image.
I was thinking about what I want to give people when being in the role of art therapist. This is an image that just spontaneously came to mind as well and I couldn't figure out what the "magic" is at the time.
I'm thinking now that the magic is what art therapy does for me which isn't something I share when on the job. I have been the veiled woman, the blank slate if you will. Of course, being the completely exposed naked woman isn't quite good therapy either. However, when I am that bare off-the-clock self, that's when my creativity has been most contagious and people I know have been inspired to do their own things, taking some of my energy home. So what I need to find in myself is that place in the middle.
I think I already know that place in the middle. The paper under the nude is a folded up copy of a letter from someone I worked with, but not in a therapeutic role. It's about how talking to me about art inspires him to make some. This wasn't someone I poured my guts out to about personal work (I doubt he even knew my last name), but I did share some of my excitement and ways I work. That's exactly what I'm looking for in my professional identity.
I'm working on directives to give people a glimpse of that, rather than pull directives out of my education, and have gotten off the fence about showing some of my more personal work here. Stay tuned.