Workshops | Shadows on the Wall: Silhouettes of Self

Exploration of Addictions by Anonymous
Exploration of Addictions, Trauma, Illness and the Overlap

~ Anonymous (2003)
Deepening Understanding of The Multiplicity of Selves

The life-sized silhouette mandala is a method of art therapy adapted and developed by Dr. Scott for her work addicts, trauma survivors and those with dissociative disorders. The silhouette or body tracing provides a mirror for self-reflection for inner world of the dissociative disordered client, in much the same way it does for the external world of those with eating disorders. In this case, the client draws a life-sized silhouette tracing in order to map their internal ego-state system.

For the lecture Dr. Scott describes the phenomenon of dissociation, ego-states and the continuum from normative ego-states to pathology. She will discuss her work, since 1987, with this population of clients and show slides of art by those who are dissociative disordered. In two cases there will be a series of three silhouettes by the same client. The series reveals a progression of consciousness and awareness. There are slides of other forms of art therapy, including group process.

In the pulse of inner life immediately present now in each of us is a little past, a little future, a little awareness of our own body, of each other’s persons, of these sublimities we are trying to talk about, of the earth’s geography and the direction of history, of truth and error, of good and bad, and who knows how much more?

~ William James
The workshop is presented as experiential training for clinicians. The purpose of the workshop is to deepen the participants’ understanding of issues of identity, memory and the normative multiplicity of selves within all of us.

This is an art experiential using life-sized silhouette mandalas (© 1989, 1992, 1996 E. Hitchcock Scott). For each 3’ by 6’ piece of paper, six participants will draw their own silhouette overlapping the silhouettes of five other participants.

By participating in this group exercise, as if an ego-state operating within a larger system of multiplicity (the large sheet of paper representing the body of a client), participants will gain a visual and kinesthetic understanding of intrapsychic group dynamics.

Using an intrapsychic systems model allows clients to make conscious their inner chaos and create a structure for conflict resolution along with the potential for creative solutions.


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"To have serpentlike qualities devoid of dovelike qualities is to be passionless, mean, and selfish. To have dovelike qualities without serpentlike qualities is to be sentimental, anemic, and aimless. We must combine strongly marked antitheses."

~ Martin Luther King Jr. (1963)

Text and all images except background are copyright © 1994–2009 E. Hitchcock Scott.
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