Square the Circle and CPD
Square the Circle has proved to be a very useful tool for those working in therapeutic settings, both as a way of connecting with other's around ideas of symbolism, but also in deepening understanding of one's own unconscious through play and creativity, leading to great connection to client's and more confident use of symbolism in therapy work.
Why Art Matters
We know that art has been used by man since the beginning of time, and has always had an important function in human development and problem solving. There is no doubt that upper paleolithic man was using art and symbols to make sense of the world, and we have been doing so even before and ever since. It is well documented and researched that art is a powerful tool for understanding the nature of the unconsciousness. Jung often incorporated art into his analytical psychology, encouraging his patients to draw and paint their dreams and use active imagination in order to unlock the symbolism and come to terms with trauma and emotional distress. Jung was an artist himself and spent much of his life attempting to unify his understanding of spiritual traditions and his own unconscious into paintings and illustrations. His work is regarded as very important in today’s practice of art therapy and Square the Circle draws on some of the symbols and archetypes he identified as important for self-discovery. For examples of worked carried out in the workshops, click below
How Square the circle works
The colouring pages used in the Square the Circle workshops and book are divided into sections that align with key principles developed by Jung and others based on research and theory around symbolism. The sections are an exploration of well- known and well documented symbols around certain life themes, and based on mandala designs, which Jung believed, as did many before him, provide harmony and balance. Each section allows you to both enjoy colouring and creating, entering a state of flow , but also to look at different aspects of the psyche and how they relate to the inner mind. In each section, there are a number of stages to work through. The first page is a colouring-in image, rich with symbolism and personal triggers to discover. The second page has less detail so that you can add your own shapes, symbols and memories. A third page gives you a chance to draw or write on a basic mandala shape, anything that arises, and outline what you feel about them, with minimal input from the author. For more on symbolism, click below
How Square the Circle can help
Colouring in helps to switch off the active, rational parts of the brain – the ‘doing’ parts - and can take us to a flow state. Aligned with mindfulness thinking, we need to go to the ‘being’ part of ourselves – but we can go further than just being mindful by working more actively , asking new questions, discovering new connections, re- awakening memories and dreams, and beginning to live a fuller life than that involving just the external world and our ego’s response to it. The concept of flow combined with active imagination is not a passive one but an active engagement with a search for new ways of connecting with your inner self and finding new perspectives and new territories. In this way we can begin to heal our minds through Jung’s process of individuation. In ancient civilisations such as Greece, India and China, art was seen as a process of discovery, rather than just the creation of beautiful end products. Creativity is about facilitating a dialogue with the most deep, symbolic and open version of your mind possible, and finding keys to new doors in a journey of self-discovery.