The Forest: Stage 1

This drawing is used to get into the flow of forest symbolism, colouring in the picture. While colouring, participants think of what the image reminds them of – does it bring back any memories? Have they had any dreams about a forest? Does this forest they are colouring mirror feelings about going into a forest, or do they find it more frightening, darker, impenetrable? Perhaps it reminds them of stories and fairy tales – which can be thought about as they colour. These are examples of participants' work:

The Forest: London May 2017

In May we ran the Forest workshop at the London Art Therapy Centre, at the invitation of a network of Jewish women working or training in the creative therapies. Below are images from Stage 1 of the Forest:

The Forest in Bali:

below are images from stage 1 created in the forest workshop on our Bali retreat earlier in 2017

The images below are from our workshop at the International Arts in Health Conference in Brooklyn in October 2016

The Forest: Stage 2

In this drawing the forest has been pared back to its bare bones, so that participants can explore their own ideas of the forest, rather than have the artist’s symbolism imposed on them. They start by treating the drawing like an inkblot, turning it round and looking from different aspects, and see if any shapes or symbols emerge. They then add our own symbols, shading, people, animals, characters from fairy tales, and colour this in. This work is not about whether it is a ‘good’ drawing or not, it is designed to just let the ideas flow.


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The Forest: London May 2017

In May we ran the Forest workshop at the London Art Therapy Centre, at the invitation of a network of Jewish women working or training in the creative therapies. Below are images from Stage 2 of the Forest:

The Forest in Bali:

Below are images created in stage two of the forest workshop on our Bali Retreat 2017

The images below are stage two images created at our workshop at the International Arts in Health conference in Brooklyn, October 2016

The Forest: Stage 3

This page gives participants space to make a note of symbols, memories and dreams conjured up by the forest. They draw their own forest, create a collage from other images or make written notes, adding stories and fairy tales, and explore the meaning of these and symbols from other sources. Remember every symbol has its own meaning for us as individuals, so it is important to pay attention to how colouring and exploring the forest has felt personally. This puts participants  in touch with how comfortable they are with exploring their unconscious mind, and how far into the forest they are happy to go. It is ok to feel some dark and scary things – writing and drawing them is part of the process. But forests can also be places of excitement and discovery , sunlight and birdsong.

The Forest: London May 2017

In May we ran the Forest workshop at the London Art Therapy Centre, at the invitation of a network of Jewish women working or training in the creative therapies. Below are images from Stage 1 of the Forest:

The Forest in Bali:

Below are images created at stage 3 of the forest workshop on our retreat in Bali 2017