Thursday, May 23, 2013

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: Who We Are at our Core

by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal. 

Our Core

Determining who we are, at our deepest level, is often a difficult thing to do. Our definition of who we are and what our belief system is changes over time and with each life experience. Things we said we would never do in the past may change when confronted by difficult choices and decisions. As we go through life's journey, the very core of what makes us who we are develops, changes and is challenged. 
This art process takes that idea and asks artists to think about our "core being" and create and interpretation of what that might look at.  It gives an individual the opportunity to take a hard look at all the choices they have made in their lives and take ownership of all the mistakes, and successes, joys and regrets, and what effect that has had on their character and personality...their core being.

Things you need:  
Drawing paper
Markers, craypas, drawing pencils, crayons, chalks

Imagine yourself as an apple. You have a beautiful skin that you show to the world. Rosy and red, there may be some scars, there may be some bruises...
Under the rosy skin is the sweetness and foundation that makes up all that you are. All your memories, your actions, your life. 
At the center of it all is the core. This is what the rest of it is built around. Your core being. What are you at the very center? When everything else is taken away... what are the things that the rest of you is built around? Imagine your core... what would it look like? 

Draw what your core being would look like using the basic image of an apple core as a base.  Use color, line, images whatever, to define those things that you are at the very basic, center of your being, whatever that means to you....

Processing notes: 
When you look at your work, what do you see? Do you see positive images? Do you see negative and dark images or a mix of both.  Most people would present more positive than negative, but a mix, to show a realistic representation of an adults life journey. None of us go unscathed.  Someone who presents with all positive core being images may see themselves as idealized or want their life to be a fantasy.  Someone who presents their core as very dark and negative obviously would be a deeply sad and troubled person, still working through issues and not recognizing their inner good, in spite of having made mistakes through their lives.  

Attribution Some rights reserved by roger.karlsson

Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

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