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Speech at the Seminar of the Scientific Association of the Graduates of the Athens Department of Early Childhood Education

DATE: 20/1/2018 | News

Sophia Koukourli, Art Psychotherapist

My World΄s Image: transform and rectify through Art Therapy

The speech of the Art Therapist Sophia Koukourli at the Seminar of the Scientific Association of the Graduates of the Athens Department of Early Childhood Education, took place at the Conference Center of the Municipality of Nea Ionia on 20/10/18. In a short introduction she referred to artists like Miro that thought that through the spontaneous drawing one could reach the unconscious. The movement of expressionism pointed out at the illustration of the feeling and highlighted the exploration of the inner world of the artist.

Subsequently, she connected art to psychotherapy and referred to Freud and the visual thinking. We experience our dreams mainly through their visual form. Freud perceived that art is closer to the unconscious due to the fact that our visual perceptions precede our ability to articulate them verabally. Images are part of our prior experiences and many of our pre-verbal thought are in the form of images.

Jung pinpointed that “painting what lies in front of us is different from painting what lies within us”. When we are preoccupied in a given situation and we turn this into an image through dreaming or art, we can begin to understand it more clearly and deeply and experience the feelings that this situation entails.

Naumburg first introduced art as a therapeutic method in 1940 realising that the creation of a work of art provides a space of expressing experiences and emotions.

Art therapy is the connection of two fields, art and psychology. The end product is a meeting point, a bridge between the inner and the outer world, between the therapist and the curing person, a transitory place. Painting allows children and an adult to create, build an image of the world, as they experience it, and later on provides the opportunity to transform and rectify. It helps the participants getting to know themselves in a better way. In art therapy the focus is on the creativity not on the aesthetic value of the work of art. There is no right or wrong way.

A case study of groups of creative development in Nursery Schools and Primary Schools followed. The main aim was to engage children through art to express themselves freely and discover art, while learning to functionally use creativity in their everyday life and the relationships with others. Children learned to make choices, create, act, and change their decisions, experiment. They literally learned to learn through their experiences.

The seminar concluded in a workshop which all the attendees participated in.

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