Richard, a middle manager in a big company, is successful and highly appreciated by his superiors for his brilliant ideas. At work he helps whenever he can. He is not the type to say "this is not my problem", he regularly helps his colleagues in solving their problems. At times Richard is tired, but he continues spreading his goodwill, even if this involves working overtime and neglecting his family. However, at the end of the year, one of his colleagues - the one he helped the most - receives the promotion Richard expected for himself. His yearly work performance is rated as mediocre by his boss, due to "partial fulfillment of the goals" and "room for improvement". Richard can't cope with his disappointment. He has the impression that everybody is against him, even his wife. The Art Therapist invites him to draw or paint A) his current situation B) the ideal situation he would like to have in two years' time, with color pencils or watercolors. No need to be skillful in drawing. It may be abstract, like spots or symbols. It is not an art contest. Richard is astonished by his own result: Drawing A) is chaotic, lines and shapes of various colors overlay each other, and nothing seems to make sense. Some strangely colored clouds are spread through a grey sky, over a landscape that looks like a garbage dump. Drawing B) on the other hand represents a pretty garden. Four distinct neatly colored spheres are harmoniously distributed in the sky. Everything is flooded with bright sunlight. Richard reflects on his true objectives. He wants to tidy up his life. He enters in a sort of active dream. Spontaneously, he explains the drawing to the therapist, associating each color to one of his personal values. He recovers his courage and thinks about what to change in his life. Look for a new job? Engage in a training program? Suddenly, everything seems possible and open to him. He dares to talk it over with his partner, and, to his astonishment, she encourages him to go ahead with a refreshing life change.
Jane loses her dream job
Jane loves her work at the BIO-label store. It is both hands-on and useful to nature and humanity. The physical activity keeps her fit and healthy, and she is happy to contribute to the clean and harmonious atmosphere of the shop. Clients appreciate her friendliness and useful advice. A new organization of the food deliveries completely changes her daily work: Jane has to carry heavy loads and stay after her usual hours. Her back aches and gradually worsens, and despite medication, work becomes unbearable. Her physician strongly recommends that she gives up her job. Today, thanks to social insurance and a modest lifestyle, she survives. Yet she feels useless, her children are out of the nest and her days are empty. She joins an Art Therapy group. The professional describes different techniques from which to choose. In no time, she discovers her own style. Pastel colors, fine and regular pencil lines form an abstract landscape. She is delighted to discover new skills, and finds pleasure in exploring them. Her good mood comes back, and she meets new friends for leisure and cultural activities.
Caro and her night time accidents
Caro is 8 years old when her mother takes her to a first meeting with the Art Therapist due to bed-wetting incidents. While her mother summarizes the history of the problem in a difficult family environment, involving divorce and family re-composition, Caro finds some color pencils and starts using them. She follows the conversation of the two adults with one ear. Once her drawing is finished, she proudly presents it to them. Several sessions are scheduled to work with Cora alone. She agrees, and comes back for 4 sessions. Discovering the variety of material put at her disposal, Caro rapidly decides what she likes best: painting, collage, and playing with puppets. She becomes aware of her need to find her place in her new family setup. She needs attention from her mother and to spend time with her one-on-one. She needs to sort out the complex relationships involving her mother, the new companion, and his children. She spontaneously mentions she wants to stop bed-wetting and even sets up a plan on how to reach that goal. Two weeks later, her mother calls the therapist and tells her that Caro has successfully completed her goal.
Mrs. Smith and her solitude
Mrs. Smith, is an elderly woman of 86 who lives alone, with no family members within reach. Time seems long to her, and daily tasks have become too difficult for her, let alone activities outside the home. Social services deliver her food and medical care regularly. Her mental health steadily decreases: she is depressed, almost stops communicating all together, and categorically refuses all activities proposed by her social workers. Her daughter-in-law heard about the art therapy sessions I provide in a home for elderly people and asked me whether I could provide some private therapy sessions. Mrs. Smith agrees, and tells me about her former work in textiles. Now, once a week, I visit her at home, bringing along the necessary tools for the projects of her choice. While working, she becomes more like her former self, she develops concentration, initiative, and a poetic way of creation. As weeks go by, her mood improves, and she finds satisfaction and recovers her smile. At the present, Mrs. Smith, has even opened up to trying different new techniques, which she enjoys.