In my previous posts of New Decade, New Challenges and Questioning the very core of us, I have been talking about the very real and complex challenges the changing world is bringing to both us and our clients. With these challenges can come some very deep and complex emotional responses which can question our very sense of self. The nature of these responses and questions can make it very difficult to make sense of them and, therefore, create new, positive ways of being and thinking in the new world.
As coaches, when clients bring these challenges into coaching, we need to be able to hold a space where they can externalise, raise awareness, connect and make sense of what they are experiencing; enabling them to find a way through that feels true for them.
In these new, unprecedented times we may need to look to new ways of working with our clients and a new language that allows them to access what they are experiencing, what that means to them and how they want to resolve those experiences; creating a space to understand their purpose and meaning and how to achieve and sustainably maintain it. Art based coaching is uniquely placed to do this.
Art Based Coaching
Art Based Coaching is a very powerful approach enabling clients to work quickly and deeply, unlocking their potential in a creative and dynamic space. Through visual communication and the language of art, art based coaching gives clients a deeper awareness and understanding of the issue at hand, allowing shifts in perspectives that can lead to greater insights and meaning, which in turn can be very transformational. It is an approach that is creative and person centred, whilst also being systemic, embodied and transformational.
Through the imaging process, art based coaching enables our clients to hold all of what is going on for them in a safe and supported space. Clients can freely express their unconscious and conscious experiences through the physical process of, and non-verbal language of, creating an image. Then once created, the image gives our client something tangible to start working with – something they can see, touch and start to talk about. Their image can hold the whole of what is going on for them in all its complexity – emotional, relational and situational.
The coach, through observation and noticing, can then work alongside their client helping them to explore their image using the language of art. This takes away the pressure from the client of having to label and analyse what is going on for them, giving space for insights, awareness, meaning and words to emerge in their own time.