Coaching Through the Arts refers to a specific method I promote in session, on your own afterwards or in CTtA workshops that I lead. (Not all my workshops’s are CTtA.) Coaching Through the Arts prompts are also emailed monthly.
The method I use is what Michele Cassou and Stewart Cubley in Life, Paint and Passion Reclaiming The Magic Of Spontaneous Expression, refer to as Process Painting. Art is generally, though not always, produced with an end result in mind and thus is highly specific and controlled. That is Product Painting. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Art that serves a purpose is a beautiful thing.
Process painting has a very different purpose.
Every artist and therapist knows how therapeutic art can be. Art effectively bypasses our conscious mind to get at the subconscious. This helps us make sense of and deal with overwhelming circumstances and emotions.
Whereas Cassou and Cubley are painters and refer to process painting, I engage in mixed media and refer to Process Art, including writing. You’re familiar with journaling- that is process art. You sit with no agenda other than to be an open vessel, curious to see what pours out.
Whether you are writing; art journaling; scrapbooking; painting; sculpting; etc, let go of all agenda and keep your hand moving. Let thoughts come and go- don’t snag one and dive into it. Imagine each thought as a leaf on the wind- notice it and watch it fly away. Just keep writing/painting/etc.
This is not the time to concern yourself with others critiques- you never even have to share your creations, unless you want to. The entire point is to let go.
If you’re feeling intense emotions, go create.
If you’re preoccupied with particular thoughts, go create.
If you’re stumped on a problem or even on a project at work, go create.
To take this even deeper, consider creating, then run through an exercise of somatic writing. Even if your chosen medium was writing. Follow up by writing what you are noticing now in your body; physical sensations; emotions. Again, don’t latch onto a thought looking for meaning and assigning judgement. Just notice and write what’s coming up for you.
Like I mentioned, CTtA prompts are emailed. Among curated blog posts, book reviews, Challenge and Action emails and more, you can expect a CTtA’s prompt each month. These prompts are designed to lead you through a guided envisioning exercise followed by the prompt to inspire your creation. You will be amazed at what you can learn about yourself in this super fun practice! Click HERE to sign up for a prompt and have fun with it!
PSST… these emails are also where you’ll learn about upcoming workshops, including the Coaching Through the Arts workshops!