I am offering an art coaching workshop for the 2017 holiday season. The goal of the workshop is to help you in several ways. One is to put your past in the past by concentrating on making good-for-you plans in the present. Another is to manage holiday stress by looking at the myths or false beliefs about holiday ‘shoulds’. We will also focus on developing tools and techniques for self-care.
I thought it would be helpful if I explained art coaching. Some might think art coaching is to coach your art. Help you develop art skills. It’s not. It’s a completely different focus. Art Coaching is not education or art therapy even as Art Coaching uses many of the tools and techniques of those.
My earliest experiences with art involved spending time with my Dad as we experimented with art medium. Later, as an educator, I learned the many uses of art as a deliberate educational tool. When I entered psychotherapy training, I studied with world class child play and art therapist, Violet Oakland, Ph.D.
Then I took part in art therapy with her for my personal history of childhood abuse. At the time, I was working on me even as Dr. Oaklander made certain I learned to use the methods she used to help others. Eventually, I learned that art can also be an invaluable vehicle in coaching conversations.
Art As Relationship
When people make art together, they are together in all the aspects of any relationship. Silence, communication, time spent together, shared efforts, feelings, and all the differing ways people bond. People grow faster in communication with others. People’s deepest need is to heard and understood. The connection between you and others often seems magical as you communicate.
Art As Self-expression
My Dad and I used charcoal, pastels, finger paint, watercolors, and clay. There were few rules as he believed children should be free to express themselves.
Self-expression. This is a very important aspect of life coaching. Coaching is about hearing yourself. You want to learn who you are in the world, what your deepest dreams are, and even what barriers you face to achieve these dreams. Most art activities take place in your home before or after a coaching appointment where you explore your self-chosen ideas.
Art As Education
Art is an incredible vehicle to learn new ideas and develop skills. In a school setting, I, as the teacher, would structure the art project. If you scour the Internet for art projects, you can find multiple examples of scripted art projects for children and teenagers.
Art projects are a tremendous way to develop art skills. They are also for reinforcing ideas. Teachers use art on bulletin boards, work sheets, and in projects. Some people are kinesthetic learners and learn by touch. Touch, with art and other materials, is critical for someone who only learns by touch.
Art Coaching differs from education in a very critical way. You decide what you need to work on. You pick your topic, your project, and where you want to go with it. You, not your coach.
Art As Therapy
Life coaching can be very therapeutic, but it’s not therapy. There are massive difference between them that stem from the purpose of each. Art therapy is to help people fix something that is wrong. The therapist is expert and guides the process.
Art coaching is for people who want to achieve a goal, reach their full potential or solve a problem in their lives. The client is the expert on themselves. You understand the meaning of your art. While the coach has a structure for coaching conversations, the client drives this bus.
Art as Coaching
Most coaching conversations have a structure. This is true whether you are in an individual conversation or a group conversation.
The beginning of each conversation involves talking about what’s happening in your life, your goals for yourself and dreams for your life. One way to communicate this is to prepare a written sheet for discussion between sessions. You could also create art between sessions to communicate this idea.
Second is a discussion of your ‘wins’. These are your successes in between coaching visits. This too is great subject for art.
The middle of a coaching conversation involves choosing and working on the topic for discussion. In art coaching, you can create art here and we can discuss while you create. In an art coaching group, the group would also participate in creating and discussing.
The end of a coaching conversation involves creating action steps to reach your goals. This ties back into the beginning of your next coaching session. You plan the action steps you decide to take toward your goals. Your action steps can include an art project.
Art is a great way to visualize your goals and your successes. This is a positive use of art techniques and can help you envision your future success.
Art is many things. It can be traditional with crayons, many types of paint, and clay. Crafts are art. Creating collages are great for visualizations. I love the crafts materials for children with shapes, textures, papers, glue, colored pencils, glitter, fuzzy balls, stars, and so on.
Found objects are also art. Many objects are in and outside your home. Cloth, metal, leaves, grass, along with anything you see to create with.
Art Coaching might use the tools and techniques of education or art therapy, but it’s very different. In Art Coaching, the ideal is to create to communicate with yourself, your coach and your art coaching group. The reason for your art is to achieve the goals you set for yourself.
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