Is Genesis Art a kind of art therapy?
My understanding is that only those who follow the great psychologist and psychoanalyst Dr. Carl Jung are qualified to use the term art therapy in their work. Dr. Jung coined the term art therapy and trained art therapists are those who have studied Dr. Jung’s teachings in depth after completing their advanced education in psychology. I have tremendous respect for their work.
And I believe that Genesis Art likewise, has measurable therapeutic benefits. But I will never call what we do Art Therapy.
According to Wikipedia, “Jung proposed that art can be used to alleviate or contain feelings of trauma, fear or anxiety, and also to repair, restore and heal. In his work with patients and in his own personal explorations, Jung wrote that art expression and images found in dreams could be helpful in recovering from trauma and emotional distress.”
In Genesis Art we spend much time dialoguing with our own art and getting positive, uplifting feedback among a small group of co-participants.
Jung brought about a steady revolution toward integrating the arts into therapy. One of the reasons, I believe, that art therapy took off only after Jung’s passing in 1959, was that little was really known about Jung the artist. His own artistic life and deep work at self-healing was one of his most secretive activities. He knew without doubt that the creation of art can lead to intuitive and healing breakthroughs. Only in 2009, with the publication of his Jung’s prolific writings and art journals, compiled as The Red Book, did the world come to glimpse inside the mind of the artist who was Dr. Carl Jung.
When I began the first Genesis Art Workshops in the year 2000, I knew that joyful play with art supplies can bring about personal transformation. But it wasn’t until 2009 that I could actually hold in my hands the massive hard-cover Red Book. Or at least try to hold. The Red Book is an art-packed journal that is so large it’s as if it was designed to be read by giants. Dr. Jung’s opus was daunting, but fascinating, and gave me a language by which I could start to explain how Genesis Art Workshops actually differed from Jungian Art Therapy.
The Red Book documents in Jung’s own words and art his own psychological and spiritual struggles and how art became a tool to lift him and his clients out of the depths of despair and psychosis.
Genesis Art has likewise been used in psychological and psychiatric hospital settings, in day homes for those with dementia, in centers for artists with Downs Syndrome and autism, and even in prison settings. The most wonderful outcome is the breakthrough, that aha realization that not only can someone draw who never believed that they could, but that a spark has been ignited. The desire to draw again and again is now free to take off! There’s a shared sense of excitement when artists’ voices are being heard and validated. Genesis Art can produce a shift in the way the artist perceives the world, and her or his mission in it. Genesis Art is truly for everyone.
Through Genesis art workshops, I’ve guided countless students to see their art as an extension of themselves, their best version of themselves, to enrich self-esteem, to bolster self-image, to enhance belief in artistic abilities and feeling joy and pride in the creative process. Genesis Art is a journey of the heart. I will never call Genesis Art by the name Art Therapy. But I feel honored when others feel the healing benefits!
Genesis Art Online workshops are now offered in monthly online modules of four weekly lessons, 90 minutes each, and cost $97 per session. I welcome you to become part of a worldwide community, sharing art on whatsapp, and as a special bonus, get a one-hour private monthly session from me to get focused coaching that leads to artistic breakthroughs. For more information or to sign up please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.