Saturday, November 06, 2004

R.G. Ley: One cannot use a left hemispheric key to open a right hemispheric lock.

It is very difficult for patients to recover in psychotherapy when a pre-verbal or any traumatic memory is encoded in images, rather than in words. The same is true of our nightly thinking in dreams.

We experience [a dream] predominantly in visual images. Part of the difficulty of
giving an account of dreams is due to our having to translate these images into words. “I could draw it,” a dreamer often says to us, “but I don’t know how to say it.” SIGMUND FREUD

Art therapy has grown rapidly since it became a profession in the middle of the 20th century. One reason is that creating art is a way of thinking – in images, as well as with the hands. Art also offers a way of feeling and a way of knowing. In psychotherapy, which is usually done with words alone, art gives clients a new and useful way to listen – with their eyes.


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