The Sienna Academy

The Sienna Academy

Painting Therapy

Painting Therapy according to the Liane Collot díHerbois Method

“Traditionally the rainbow and the rainbow-colours have always played an important part in anthroposophic painting therapy. But one must remember that the rainbow always comes into manifestation between the light and the darkness: There is a dome of lightness on the inside of every rainbow and darkness on its outside, the darkness of the clouds against which it appears. The rainbow is a beautiful image of the human being: Its seven colours can be looked upon as the purified human soul, the light and darkness on either side of it stand for the spiritual creative polarity that calls it into being. In the human being the polarity can be found in the light of consciousness and the darkness of the living organism in which creative and destructive processes are continuously at work”. (Liane Collot d’Herbois)

Whatever is happening on an emotional and soul level will impact on the physical body; if not addressed, physical manifestations of illness will result. Long term healing is likely to be more effective if the underlying emotional issues are addressed.

In this method of Painting Therapy, healing comes about through working with colour and its accompanying creative forces of light and darkness.

Colour in outer nature is always changing according to brightness of light or shade. Our own inner colour world is also changing through the brightness or shade of our many responses to life. Many moods and feelings flow through us all day long; but this inner colour world can become stuck and lose its mobility. This may be caused initially by shock, or inability to process and digest an event. Thought patterns may develop which are self-destructive. These eventually get stuck in the deeper recesses of the memory, producing tiredness and reactivity to others and to ourselves. This lack of inner mobility may go unnoticed and therefore not addressed at an early stage. Later physical manifestation of illness may be an eventual consequence.

Working with light darkness and colour brings inner mobility back to the thought processes and emotional life. A higher part of our ‘self’ starts to wake up enabling us to respond to life rather than re-act. Inner flexibility returns accompanied by enthusiasm, positivity and warmth of heart.

An individual painting therapy session begins with a free light and darkness picture using charcoal, and a colour picture using water-colour on a moist piece of paper. The ‘free’ work provides the necessary starting point for a guided process. The process of applying charcoal or paint to the paper is more important than the outcome because this activates the will to become healed – it is not necessary to have an artistic aptitude or previous art experience to benefit from the sessions.

Children are met in an age appropriate way and invited to paint whatever they would like for the first session. After the initial ‘free’ work, the subsequent paintings are part of a carefully guided process engaging the natural creativity of the child. With older children from puberty onwards the process may involve working with charcoal as well as colour.

The sessions are based on the Liane Collot d’Herbois method of painting therapy, world renowned for its healing properties.

In the words of a client:
“Therapeutic art (in the Liane Collot d’Herbois method) has opened up a whole new world to me – one of colour and movement, gentle but so powerfully profound, like stepping through a door to another world. The experience of learning the archetypal movements of the colours in painting lessons and later having individual therapeutic art sessions has helped me to find the balance and space to be able to handle life’s stresses and gain more confidence and trust in my abilities and myself.”

For the Art Therapist trained in this method much time is devoted to building up an imagination of the many ways in which the archetypal light and darkness interact, and to imagining the colours that are able to manifest in these different situations. This work provides background knowledge to help understand what is manifesting in the clients pictures.

In the client’s pictures as they progress along a therapeutic pathway, there may be elements of these archetypal movements in, for example: landscapes with trees, mountains, fish, birds, animals, etc. but for them it should seem natural and effortless, and part of an enjoyable creative process.

To make a booking please contact Sally Martin [click here].

Artworks by:  Liane Collot d’Herbois

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