2 Nov 2008

College Notes for today (October 20th)

In tonight's class we tackled negative emotions and used a bit of art therapy to work through it.
On the whiteboard there were two headings 'Negative' and 'Positive', underneath each one we all wrote what particular thoughts and feelings where being felt/thought at the time. It was interesting to see how easy it was to write under the negative heading and not so easy under the positive.
Here is what we came up with, in its diagrammatic glory (Click to biggify it)
After we had finished writing up things on the whiteboard, it was time to get stuck into some art therapy. This entailed getting some paper and a whole feast of art supplies, then attempting to draw how your are feeling or how a particular negative thought makes you feel.
I choose some colouring pencils and charcoal as my medium of choice, whilst others went for paint. Our tutor encouraged us to work in silence and then put on some chillaxing music.
My negative emotion (click to biggify)
I also had time to do a positive drawing too (click to biggify)
Then it was Personal Development time, which I have nicknamed the Circle of Doom, due to the uncomfortable nature of sitting in a circle without any physical barriers to hide behind. This was an opportunity to look at how the art therapy impacts on a deeper level. As you can tell by my blog, art therapy is something I am really being to enjoy. I have always been uncomfortable talking about my emotions, so the opportunity to put it all into pictures was and is very useful to me.

Interesting links:

Personal Journal
The lesson itself was great today, I got a lot out of it and it also showed me some of the barriers that art therapy may throw up for clients. Some people just don't like drawing, as they feel like they are no good at it. So art therapy my be very cathartic for them to do? maybe. In tonight's class, it was the most simple drawings that said the most. The combination of working on our own, whilst listening to music, also allowed me to really get into it. Art therapy definitely excites me and the more I look into it, the more I see a potential career path.
Although the class was for the most part great, unfortunately it did not stay that way. As the circle of doom (PD group) encourages people to be honest about everything, especially the group dynamics, this can occasionally cause some upset. Tonight it was my turn once again to be upset, as it seems one of the folks in the class does not feel safe disclosing stuff of a personal nature. This in particular was directed at myself and another class mate. To say that I was upset was an understatement, I was flabbergasted, angry and hurt. Whilst on one hand you applaud someone for being brave enough to say that something is making them feel uncomfortable, but on the other I thought 'What about me and how I bloody feel'. This counselling diploma is very intense and I understand how vulnerable you can feel. The group dynamics is very important, as they are your support network. It was being singled out as untrustworthy, I think that is what hurt the most. I would never betray anyone's confidence and I certainly do not gossip about any issues brought up in class. I know I don't need to defend myself, but yet I still feel the need to. So then the time ran out and I was left feeling like shit. This will now have to be sorted out in the next class.


  1. I'd pull that person aside and have a small chit-chat with them, if I were you. Then again, you can't win 'em all, brush it off.

    Love the idea of the art therapy, it's definably therapy for me, whether it's photography, or journal writing. :)

  2. Where was the teacher/professor in all of this? Or do they leave you alone to sort it out? I wouldn't have handle that well at all. I probably would've left with a huge knot in my stomach.
    Art therapy helps a lot. After my SIL died and I fell apart, I kept a picture journal - things I cut out of magazines, my own drawings, etc. It was tremendously helpful!
    Keep up the good work and let us know what happens when you meet again...

  3. The picture of you in the gray sea makes me want to grab you up and protect you from the Evil all around... Gads I hated that class session... I really did... the calling out part.. Happy Day :)

  4. So when you study to be a counselor you actually have counseling session? Interesting.

    It sounds like your counselor wasn't in tune with what was going on.

    Group counseling vs. individual, which is better?

  5. Thinking positive is always the way, if you can.

  6. *sigh*

    I seem to be stuck in the negative thinking side. And with that comes those fun-filled feelings of crappiness.

  7. I think if I underwent Art Therapy, I'd end up with nothing but paintings of self stuck in a bottle bobbing up and down in the ocean. But then that's why I'm on the 'counsel-ee' side and someone as vibrant, warm and lovely as you is on the counselOR side!! :D

    So what is it that makes us (all?) feel as if we have to defend ourselves, even when we know we've done nothing to deserve a rush of negativity?

    Sorry this is a touch longwinded, just wanted to add that I'm learning tremendous amounts from your willingness to open up this part of you for inspection. Thank you!

  8. I like the happy pic, although I can't tell if that is a motherly hug, or someone holding their decapitated head...LOL

    I find the silent individual in the group to be comparable to an amusement park ride waiting line. Everyone is taking turns in line, waiting, and zig-zagging back and forth through the "cattle fencing". Meanwhile someone feels that they can just cut and skip the line. It's only fair for that person to "wait" with everyone else...

    Not sure if that's comparable, or clearly made sense, but try not to take it personally. I'm sure your other classmates are thinking the same way as you, in that it's not fair for you all to "spill the beans", yet one hasn't even grabbed the can opener yet...

  9. my mate Sunny from Random does art therapy. She has an art lecturer back ground .. I know she finds it extremely satisfying and inspirational. I think that is a great field for you to investigate.

    Sorry to hear that you have had some grief from a fellow student.... can't believe 'untrustworthy' was mentioned? It does need bottoming out, good luck hun and chin up x

  10. 1 More Day til OBAMA SEXY TIME!!! ;)) Peace*

    Now thass Positive!!!

  11. Way cool Claire. Now, for me, I'd probably be drawing pictures of me holding dead ducks so that would be a happy emotion for me, but not so happy for the ducks. ;-)

  12. The negative drawing is terribly striking and a little haunting.

    I have a little helicopter, I can always come pull you out but you'll have to sit on the cat as we fly back to shore. :)