While making this figure I had in mind the painful experience of giving birth. Training to be an art psychotherapist has been a difficult labour and at times seemed too much to bare. Babies pour fourth as overwhelming feelings and anxieties – my own and those of clients. Unexpressed thoughts and intensely private experiences become at once public. Not all can be nurtured – there are far too many. The struggle to hold and let go, to speak and remain silent is ongoing. Developing compassion towards myself and others brings to the fore the importance of taking care of myself as an art therapist in order to sustain my practice into the future.
My final placement was in a hospital for ‘sick children’ where I offered art therapy to children and their families. Chronic illness evokes deep fears and psychological distress which cannot be hidden. Raw vulnerability and fear of exposure have been wrapped into the body of this little figure. Finding the courage to express and share these anxieties has only been possible with support from many others.