The following comments come from evaluations of the Symbolism and Creativity workshops run in London, 2016

 

Overall evaluation

  • This workshop was a creative space where I was able to focus and develop my own responses to symbols and what they might mean personally to me.  I enjoyed making art and watching how new thoughts emerged, which could be shared within a safe space and very thoughtful group.
  • The sessions provided me with new insights and a new way of working.
  • The quality of what you have provided was exceptionally high.  I got so much from the sessions and feel like I will do so for many months to come.
  • This series of workshops have really brought calm and creativity to my days, through a very interesting and specific series of topics, every week we went through a different trip within ourselves and I believe I am more aware and I am more able to embrace the emotions I feel.
  • The workshop has been one of the best things I’ve done in recent years and I miss it enormously! Please let me know when you do more as I’d love to participate again.
  • These workshops were a wonderful experience, full of challenge, surprise, insight and fun.
  • Participating in these workshops has been a decisive point for me both professionally as a psychotherapist and personally as someone who wants to develop creatively
  • This felt like a broad learning experience, of which personal reflection and increased self-awareness was a significant part.
  • This series of workshops was captivating, tremendously thought provoking and enjoyable.  The two facilitators held the group very well and the space felt warm and safe.  The discussions around symbols and the demonstrating how to use different art media each week offered an exciting and varied session each week.  The workshops certainly helped unlock any creative blockages and the resulting powerful imagery is testament to this.   I would certainly hope to attend more in the future
  • I would definitely recommend them to friends and colleagues and already have.


Symbols, templates and the Square the Circle process

  • I had the great opportunity to be a member of the first pilot group for the six workshops , working with the Jungian themes of central core emotional foundations. We were given great introduction to Jungian theories and seen in the wider aspect of world commonalities. This was very interesting and thought provoking. I would like to follow this along further, and the workshops have added a new dimension to looking at these connections, dreams and my own personal narrative.
  • I felt I was able to bring in difficult aspects of my professional work which resonated with other members of the group and yet appeared to be able to be worked through and contained within it. I think it was helpful that in this instance members of the group had a therapeutic training / experience of therapy so were able to manage what it bought up for them
  • I had no idea what to expect here and, if I am honest, was a bit sceptical about how I would be able to use such detailed templates as presented initially. However; when I realised and experienced the process in action I got it and was surprised at how quickly it enabled an unconscious “deep dive”.
  • loved the sessions on mother/father and think this would be a topic everybody can connect with.  My favourite was on the shadow. To my surprise linking spirituality to the shadow was really fruitful. 
  • Considering symbols in everyday life is already something I feel in touch with and try to be sensitively attuned to.  For me the joy was participating in a group and through that perhaps be closer to collective/mythical aspects than just the personal
  • I was surprised at the colouring experience, expecting to hate working with and within somebody else’s outlines.  However, I found it a relaxing exercise, which allowed my own images, thoughts and ideas to start germinating.  Seeing and hearing about other people’s work influenced my own art making and thinking.  It was a most stimulating, thought-provoking and creative environment to be in.
  • I found the re-working on each theme lead me into abstraction and helped me to express feeling more directly (or unconsciously?)
  • The templates were beautiful to use and a great spring board to manifesting ones own symbols. It was like a table cloth laid down on which we could add more or develop our own colour mix. The templates are beautifully crafted and meaningful. I did find that however foreign colouring in was for me....an activity I rarely do...my unconscious was released by the very format
  • I thought the template was a brilliant idea to have in a group. It was so good for warming up and just getting into a creative mode.
  • The sequence of shown imagery, the three colouring in stages/templates, the music – I suggest that all these support access to Jung’s transcendent function which supports access to creativity

Exploring and unlocking Creativity

  • It was a very creative space and I felt I made good use of it within the session and beyond. 
  • What you provided was enough to allow my own exploration, which was rich, safe, exciting, challenging and keeps me alert and alive for more.
  • The course was a heart-opener for me, having done nothing much in the way of artwork since leaving school.  I felt that one of the objectives was to become more comfortable with creating, which happened for me
  • I was pleasantly surprised with the work I felt able to produce in short time and with unfamiliar materials.
  • The experience was very positive for me as it encourages creative flow
  • As a maker and trainee art therapist who is currently on a Jungian based course, I really enjoyed this workshop and the balance was great for me. 
  • The course has taken the fear out of having a go at art. So, thank you. 

 

The space and containment

  • The actual venue was perfect: nice room, good light, refreshments, toilets, sturdy table, screen to view images.
  • I felt definitely comfortable and I guess that is why I was able to open and feel supported.
  • The sessions felt safe and the sharing was done thoughtfully and respectfully within the group.  it felt ok to “not know” and be with messy aspects, touch on painful thoughts, but remain contained by the art making, the group, the room and especially the facilitators’ minds.
  • The workshop definitely had a therapeutic feel and it allowed me to work and reflect on a deep, meaningful level.  The contributions of other participants encouraged this, but I think the facilitators created an environment within which this was possible.  It always felt safe.  
  • Plenty of room to work comfortably, felt like we had our own toilets which was also useful for cleaning materials etc. Liked that there was space to put work on the walls and floor – felt like we could be truly immersed in it. 
  • The venue was relaxed, which is very important, with good natural light. 
  •  I liked that all of us could share one table, there was a non-competitive, collaborative intensity each session. 
  • The boundaries felt strongly maintained and the space felt very safe for the sharing of some potentially difficult, material.  This group felt safe and holding – enough to channel some very exciting symbolic imagery and subsequent sharing.
  • This workshop did not feel more like a therapy Session or process group – more like a broader learning experience I felt.  The balance felt extremely comfortable
  • The venue is comfortable, undisturbed and has a bohemian, studio/atelier feeling about it.

Resources

  • I was very strongly and positively influenced by other images: those on the screen, the paper copies to cut out and work with, as well as other participants’ artwork. It did not inhibit me; it encouraged me to find my own images and own voice.
  • Excellent warm up exercises to the sessions.  The information provided on hand-outs was of very good quality.  The powerpoint images, the theory was relevant, concise, helped shaped focus.  Images and music very well chosen, they allowed my mind to become alert, creative, thoughtful, excited.
  •  I really appreciated the generosity in the provision of materials and never felt wanting for more (I wonder what it would have felt like to have my needs frustrated?!). I liked that each session began by quickly learning how to use new materials as it immediately gave me the confidence to use them. 
  • The presentation was very helpful, interesting and necessary for the ones we didn’t know much about symbolism.
  •  I appreciated your and Annette’s generosity not only in terms of the range of materials on offer, the richness of the imagery provided and the lovely coffee and pastry supplies, but in your readiness to share techniques and personal experience alongside us. I think it heightened the sense of potential discovery for us all.
  • I loved the richness of the cut-out images provided! I entered the workshop with little interest / confidence in using collage but by the end was feeling much freer in using the images provided. This was in part as a result of recognising many of the artists featured, in particular the Scottish ones which really resonated with me. Thank you!
  • The colouring experience was a fascinating process  The images on screen and the paper collage images were rich and varied. 
  • I loved that you introduced a new art resource every week
  • The resources and materials were varied and of good quality

 

The group experience

  • I felt that the workshops were an individual and collaborative learning experience.  I took my artwork into my personal therapy with my analyst, provoking some very helpful discussions.
  • The chance to bond in the group and feel the power of united folk, strangers coming together, has been immensely useful and powerful. This has helped me remember that groups are special and there is a great deal to be gained in consistently working with others
  • The imagery I began to explore and create during the workshops continues to resonate with me and I know it needs further attention. I wish I could find the same time and space and lovely group to do it with! It was incredibly easy to forgo my usually sacrosanct Saturday lie-in to head over to Hammersmith and just immerse myself in imagery and making art, with such a great group of equally engaged people