This book describes and demonstrates the use of imagery as a catalyst for growth and awareness, and the power of the symbol to lead the way as a healing agent. The drawings, artwork and lives of the people with whom I have worked are living proof of the transformative power of art. Focusing on this aspect, I interviewed thirteen participants (eleven women and two men) to discuss their personal experience of using art as a growing and healing process. Their stories and artwork are the basis of this book. They were asked to bring no more than 10 drawings or pieces of artwork to the interview, which they felt had been particularly significant in one or more of the following ways:
1. Bringing something to awareness that may not have been accessed in other ways.
2. In helping to make a major decision or change in life circumstances.
3. In expressing strong emotions that provided relief.
4. As an affirmation of transformation or change.
5. Breaking through a creative block.
6. Developing of skills.
Excerpts from letters of recommendation:
“Margaret has assisted me at my workshops on “The symbol as Healing Agent”. I highly recommend Margaret for work in the field of art therapy, counseling and/or teaching and training other counselors, therapists and teachers.”
Gregg Furth Ph.D., Jungian Analyst
Author: “The Secret World of Drawings”
“The power in Margaret’s work comes in part from her ability to help participants access information about themselves crucial to their well-being, which is not generally accessible to the intellect. I have witnessed Margaret’s work with a group of physicians in which she was able to help participants break through the denial and control which is so much a part of physician training. Her work is gentle compassionate and a very important tool in healing.”
Christiane Northrup, M.D. Author: “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom”
If you’ve decided that you’re really ready to move past your preconceived ideas, defenses, and blind spots, then you’re ready for Margaret. Be prepared to enter a world you’ve never before experienced – of colors, shapes, feelings and growth. Never judging, never pushing, always drawing (in more ways than one!), she will gently show you ways to know yourself that cannot be experienced intellectually, only through pre-verbal discovery. Margaret has helped me become a better person and I treasure her. As will you Gregory Sawyer, M.D., PH.D. Director, Organizational Health and Wellness
“This is a class for the artist within, and the only skill required is the willingness to attend to what is offered from that inner well.” Jane (participant)
Cover Art by: Margaret Carpenter Arnett
Margaret Carpenter Arnett is a licensed Art therapist with a nursing background. With twenty eight years experience in the field of art therapy she has worked in a variety of settings, but has always been particularly interested in the body, mind and spirit connection. It was this interest that eventually led to the formation of an Art and Meditation group in Seattle, and subsequently to this book. Now semi-retired, Margaret currently facilitates art therapy support groups for cancer patients and their families at the University of Washington Medical Center and at the Skagit Valley Cancer Care Center.