About Permission in Art therapy
The Good Enough Studio
Art Therapy Through the Prism of Space, Matter, and Action
One of the book’s main threads is the idea of permission in therapy and education and how it also manifested in the language of materials and studio setting.
To me, it is a fundamental understanding of what is needed in therapy and education.
Here is a citation from the book:
The studio as a safe place represents an ongoing and deeply felt experience of permission.
What is the experience of permission?
What I mean by this is an emotional experience that we are hopefully fortunate to get from a significant other, usually a parent, who sees us as we are, acknowledges us, and accepts us and loves us as we truly are. It is a sincere intention from someone to allow another to just be. The experience of permission is as significant as the air we breathe in parenting, education, and therapy. It is often the space that enables the moments of deepest development and transformation to occur.
Permission offers a judgment-free experience which does not carry expectations for change and accommodation. On the contrary, permission does not depend on anything expected or pre-determined. Whoever we are is fine; this is what we should naturally be. Permission opens the broadest potential of the individual in others’ eyes, resonating with their secret hopes and wishes. The feelings that flourish in the light of this acceptance are those of empowerment, hope, well-being, gentleness, empathy, and self-acceptance, while perfectionism and anxiety dwindle.
Thus, more kindness, compassion, and softness toward others are naturally revealed and nurtured. All these will be internalized as an encouraging inner voice, which will reflect the person’s strengths, optimism, and abilities back to them throughout their life.
Life in the open studio, along with the way it is organized and how its materials are presented, are concrete expressions of permission. The natural variety and different qualities present are perceived through all the senses and communicate the permission to be.
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images from the Internet by @chickheri and Robert Doiseneau