Seeking Jungian Art Activities
- Hello fellow group members,I am interested in finding some Jungian art activity directives/techniques along with processing questions/considerations.Although I am not a Jungian specialist, I have recently developed an interest in Jungian concepts and greatly appreciate his contributions to art therapy as well as his experience of using art and writing to gain self-awareness and internal peace.Any thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated. If you have used some Jungian art activities in the past with clients, I would love to hear about your experience, what worked and what did not.Thank you so much for your time and consideration!Sincerely,
Jessica Lynn Harris, LCPC, ATR-BC
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Board Certified Art Therapist
Artist / Owner
I took a few classes toward an art therapy degree so I know of and use a few selected activities that bring this view.
"One for you, one for a stranger"- Every class I have ever done this with talks about it for a long time. I will see parents at the end of the year, and they will comment on it, no matter where it fell in my calendar :) You give the students coloring materials- I prefer water colors for this activities because I want the pages filled if that is their desire to do so (some don't want to color the pages and that is a symbol in itself.) Tell the students they will be making two cards- one they can keep and one they will be giving away as an exchange with a stranger. (Do use the word "stranger" as this part of the mental image that is necessary to form in their minds.) Tell them they can not choose in the end, everyone must paint for themselves first and for the stranger second. I have hour long periods, so I save 10 minutes at the end to discuss, but if you had shorter periods, you could save the reveal for the following class. After the students are finished, let them know they can keep both "cards", aka a half sheet of card stock cut in two. Then start talking about the meaning of colors :) Google the "meaning of colors". I go to images. There is a HUGE chart that takes three pages to print out but is about color in advertising that is worth the ink! Ask three students to step forward and volunteer to show their cards to the class. Then proceed to describe each card on the basis of color meaning. Some student will have little or no difference in their cards. Others will VASTLY different. This difference is the space between the students personal internal life and their persona to the world. I teach my son in my private classes, and his were also fascinating to me. He had all blues in organic shapes for his self card and then red strong bold geometric shapes for others with little bursts of colors. He is calm, loving and fairly quiet at home- his public life as a 13 year old is to be the class clown, always engaging others (being an extrovert pretty much) and showing strength to the world. What's nice about this experiment is there is nothing bad to reveal. It will not reveal abuse, it will not reveal hurt. Al colors have positive and negative assoiciations so I stick to revealing the positive side of things. It will reveal someone who feels guarded- small central images with little color surrounding it. It will reveal someone who likes their time alone- one side of the card filled almost completely while the other side is blank (this was one my daughter's card images). So this is a very safe art activity.
"The color of your day"- There is a book by the same or a very similar title. You talk about the association of color to your day. This one is a little less safe than the others. Doing it by week has a higher safety level. I do not ask students to show these to the class often. We use them for the background of self portraits. :) What the activity, and the one above, does is get the students to start considering that there is meaning to color, that there is symbolism in art they way there is symbolism in writing. They can interupt a piece of art work with some degree confidence. It's a good step towards producing thoughtful artists.
Another activity for elementary students that helps bring home that art has meaning
is pictographs. You crate an image, a portrait for example- and have a worksheet of set symbols. If you have two siblings, you will have green eyes; if you have no siblings, you have blue eyes. If you love fruit more, you have freckles on your nose; if you like meat more, you have a dimple. That sort of thing. They create portraits of people who look nothing like them but are all about them at the same time! It's kinda of a cute activity. My girl scouts use to do this as an opening activity to the year that let all the other girls learn about them in fun way that wasn't simply talking about themselves.
Lastly, an activity that more Jungian is "draw a character of strength". I let the kids interrupt what this means to them, and then we discuss their pieces at the end. Girls interrupt strength often less literally then boys, because well, they can feel strong and not lift 300 lbs. Boys tend to interrupt this activity as super hero. If they do ask them about qualities of the character that give them strength- determination, virtue, code of ethics are good answers- and then try to get them to depict a visual way of showing that attribute.
- Brandy,Thank you SO much for these wonderful ideas! I sincerely appreciate your time in sharing these activities and I look forward to trying them out! :)Sincerely,Jessica