About Permission in Art therapy

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.

nona orbach, the good enough studio, book cover

             Get your copy here:

The Good Enough Studio
Art Therapy Through the Prism of Space, Matter, and Action


images from the Internet by @chickheri and Robert Doiseneau

2 thoughts on “About Permission in Art therapy”

  • You took on an inormously important and sensitive subject. Permission is in the core of our being. Permission is granted to us when we first come into existance in our mothers womb. The art of permision becomes the art of life.
    Your thoughts and the way you express them requires us to delve deeply into our own life experiences and examine our permission to ourselves to continue examining the world with curiosity.
    Thanks for the chalenge. You only allowed us to tast, I am looking forward to the meal.

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