Feet Planted: In Dreams I Run Wildly
Oil on linen (part of a larger mixed media installation)
72” x 44”
Production of space: functions of silence in art psychotherapy with a seven-year-old boy processing early attachment trauma
This thesis presents a retrospective investigation of a single case study of ten art psychotherapy sessions with a seven-year-old boy processing early attachment trauma. It applies a qualitative methodology, utilising a psychodynamic, practitioner-based, reflexive approach. The research questions the impact and functions of silence on the production of space within the therapeutic setting. It further explores the role of an attuned art therapist as a witness to a client’s trauma, early trauma’s impact on the body, attachment theory, neuroscience findings and the benefits of art psychotherapy. The hypothesis proposes that silence can be considered an abstract space of containment within an art therapy room which is aligned with the production of an activated affective space, for which imagination is key. The case study presentation centres on the role of an attuned art therapist in holding introduced silence, providing containment, and making sense of her client’s somatic presentations of implicit memories. In addition, the study explores how certain art media, such as paint and playdough can aid in bridging cognitive difficulties and symbolic processing.
2019 – 2020
Art psychotherapist trainee at a Residential Children's Home.
- Provided individual, closed group and open group art therapy interventions for children and adolescents with different experiences of trauma.
- Worked with a range of different profiles ranging from autism, ADHD and different emotional and behavioural issues.