The painting therapy method differs from other art therapy approaches, in that it goes beyond analysing the symbology of what is being expressed on the paper, to a deeper level of interpretation connected to the archetypal gestures of light, darkness and colour. To the trained eye, the latent potential for a person to become ill as well as the actual process of a disease is made visible. The power of the individual spirit is addressed, which enables the clients to take hold of their own healing process.
Working with colour is an important part of the painting therapy, but even more important is to work with the light and darkness aspect in order to enhance and optimise the ability of the higher ego to be able to do its important work of balancing and co-ordinating all the different layers of our being on a physical, soul and spiritual level.
In a painting therapy session, the client will be asked if there are any relevant biographical or medical details they would like to share. Then there may follow a conversation about the colours, and about light and darkness. The client is invited to make a first light and darkness picture using charcoal, and also a free painting using watercolour on a moist piece of paper. The ‘free’ work of the client provides the necessary material for making a diagnosis, but from this point on, the process is guided. No aptitude or previous painting experience is necessary to benefit from the painting therapy, although it is important that the client is actually doing the painting and the charcoal work, as this activates the will to become healed.
The painting therapy can be prescribed for a full range of conditions, including psychological and physical. It is suitable for both children and adults of all ages. Examples of conditions that can be addressed include: stress; depression; phobias; bi-polar conditions; mental health issues; insomnia; migraines; respiratory and digestive disorders; diabetes; cancer; parkinism; heart conditions; stroke recovery; convalescence; and many more.
The Liane Collot d’Herbois method of painting therapy can be very helpful to complement a doctor’s diagnosis. In Europe it has already become widely know as an effective treatment.