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Forms of Void in Art Therapy

DATE: 19/2/2024 | Articles

Sophia Koukourli Art Psychotherapist

Is the Void truly a void?

As “there is no life without death, desire without deficiency, one without the other, there is no mental life without the void” Aloupis P.  

But what is the actual criteria of recognizing void? Comparing to which sense of fulfilled, it is detected and evaluated? Does it have color and shape?

Aristotle, as well as Descartes, denied the existence of a literally empty space, because the void includes the existence, the movement and the change. Modern Physics claims that through the presence of Higgs boson, the void is not actually void.

An important characteristic of void in psychotherapy is its multiformity. We could describe void as the sense that something is missing from within, something that is bothering us, or the fear that this will overwhelm us.

Other times, it is the absence, the empty space that somebody left behind, when previously existed. It is like a point of amnesia to what is now absent. What mentally should be there, yet it is not. 

Art Therapy introduces us to a place where void as a trace, it becomes the measurement of loss, of absence or of an incomplete mental set up. The creative procedure surrounds the void, it sets borders, tries to find a balance between anxiety and freedom.

The work of art, as a creation, composes an expression and allows the connection of the person being treated with thyself, presenting the image of his inner landscape. The void, through the images, has now shape, form and it is defined. 

The purpose of the Art Therapy is to present the inner world and the unconscious of the person, so as to develop a sense of thyself and empower it.


Bibliographical references:

1. The Void, The Archaic, The Psychic Trauma – Psychoanalytic Meetings with the Borderline Patient, 2014, collective edition edited by Grigoris Vaslamatzis (Vaslamatzis G., Zervis X., Ioannovits E., Kalliteraki E., Karamanolaki X., Kokkosis M ., Konstantinidou V., Maniadakis G., Papakonstantinou K., Hatzistavrakis G.), Koinos Topos Psychiatrikis, Neuroepistimon & Epistimon tou Anthropou

2. Aspects of the object in psychoanalysis, 2016, Aloupis P., Asher A., ​​Dimopoulos V., Zervis X., Ioannidis X., Manolopoulos S., Savvopoulos S., Skoulika A., Tsavaras N., Monographs 5, Hellenic Psychoanalytic Society-Nisos

3. "I see your tears" I grieve, I can live, 2016, Bakirtzoglou Savvas, Epekeina- Psychoanalytic Practice

4. Integrative Art Therapy and Depression, 2015, Skov Vibeke,  Jessica Kingsley Publishers

5. The traumatic – Repetition and process, 2008, Potamianou Anna, Hestia Publishers & Bookseller

6. Ideal Autochiris, Greek writers who committed suicide, 2010, Petros Hartokollis, Hestia Publishers & Bookseller

7. The depressions, Bakirtzoglou Savvas, Epekeina- Psychoanalytic Practice


The images are subject to intellectual property laws and therefore cannot be reproduced.

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“Knowing thyself” (gnothi sauton) is the actual getting to knowing ourselves. Its true essence lies in caring for the soul, self-awareness, awareness of our skills, abilities and potential. It helps us understand the way we could act in order to gain the real self-awareness.

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