Loading in 2 Seconds...
Loading in 2 Seconds...
The 7 th Congress of European family Therapy Association-EFTA, Paris 29,30,31 Ottobre 2010. â€œ Kaleidoscopes.Use of art images in systemic couple therapy â€ Conny Leporatti Psychologist, Psychotherapist Family Therapy Istitute of Florence Co.Me.Te Center of Empoli Director
“Kaleidoscopes.Use of art images in systemic couple therapy”
Family Therapy Istitute of Florence
Co.Me.Te Center of Empoli Director
Florence University Teacher
“You will draw the figures in such a way as to be sufficient to demonstrate that which the figures has in his soul, or else your art will not be praiseworthy.”(Leonardo da Vinci, Book of Painting)
Physiognomy is an ancient art, and it was with Leonardo that it entered into the modern age.
The study of the stirrings of the human soul, expressed in facial characteristics influenced the work of artists over the course of the history of western art, and anticipated and reflected the development of Psychology.
In the nineteenth century physiognomy enjoyed immense popularity and was expressed extensively in paintings ( such as those of Gericault and Van Gogh), as well as in scientific theories ( for exemple in the theories of Darwin and the criminology of Lombroso).
Following Freud's Interpretation of Dreams of 1900, art and psychology became so united that they built a continous thread woving through all of modern art.
The intention of the present adress is to catalyse
reflection on the use of art images in
systematic-relational individual therapy.
Systemic individual therapy adresses the relational dimension:
Relation to the self and to one's internal world, which is conceptualised in Walter Benjamin's “OPTICAL UNCONSCIOUS”;
In systemic individual therapy we explore with the client these various internal and external systems through reference also to the relational dynamic of the client/therapist system.
Verbal communication is usually more controllable than non-verbal communication, and it is often satured with superfluous or distracting elements that can create barriers to a clear undestanding of a client's core problems.
“For a systemic relational therapist seeing is as important as hearing”Rodolfo de Bernart.
By comparing what he/she sees in the client with what from him he/she listens to, the therapist can achieve a more complex reading of the communication in therapy.
The non-verbal channel has always been very important for the systematic-relational therapist because it is less controlable and less elaborated, making it more “beliavable”.
For almost twenty years we have used different techniques during clinical work with individuals, couples, families, and groups of patients, and in training sessions with our students.
From these observations they can create relational hypotheses which the level of accuracy will become evident as therapy proceeds.
“ A person has their own internal “image” of a situation, an initial level of representation, that puts distance between the individual and their relational story, a distance that allows unthreatening reciprocal listening, thinking and dialogue”.
Working with art images permits construction and reconstruction of an experience through actualisation and dramatisation of the internal relation world.
Through the art image it is possible to build access to this internal world, a world not easily reachable and often defended and masked by the verbal channel
The image is an alternative way of articulating parts of the self and others from a deeper subjective perspective.
In my office I make available images in the form of catalogues of 200 pictures dating from the time of Leonardo da Vinci.
I ask each patient to choose an image representative of a theme I suggest (sexuality, couple, etc)
I ask each patient to “read” the image of the other
I ask each patient to express their reasons for choosing such an image
The following sessions are dedicated to deepening the comprehension of themes and images just come to the surface
- I ask each patient to choose an image representative of a theme I suggest (sexuality, couple, etc.)
I ask each patient to ‘read’ the image of the other
-I ask each patient to express their reasons for choosing such an image
-The following sessions are dedicated to deepening the comprehension of themes and images just come to the surface
Elena, 34, and Marco, 39, are both architects and work together in Marco’s family firm; they have been married 6 years, and have no children.
They come to therapy following the advice of their andrologyst, whom they have been seeing about impotence problem Marco has suffered from for a year and a half.
His problem does not disappear notwithstanding their tries at solving it, including the use of medicines.
Both show unease, unhappiness and frustration.
We work on their history as a couple and on their original families
I ask them both to choose an image to represent their couple.
Elena says of Marco’s choise: “That is us, our work, our love for architecture, our many projects and wanted lives; but in the end we’re still stuck there”.
Marco says of Elena’s choise: “Her image shows us as she would want us, in a sanctuary alone and separated from the rest of the world; but I have a black hole in my chest, and I can’t fill it”.
From the analysis of the crossed reading there emerges Marco’s guilt towards his brother Alessandro: their father has decided to put Marco in charge of the familiy firm and the relationship between the siblings has deteriorated
Elena, weeping, complains about the forceful interference of her husband’s family in their life
Both declare they can understand the situation/emotions of the other, but that they do not know how to “snap out of it”
I ask them again to choose an image that represents how they feel in the couple
Weeping, Elena expresses her unease at her relationship with her father-in-law, whom she perceives as greatly intrusive in her marriage, and whose influence she thinks badly conditions her approach to Marco and their intimancy as a couple.
Marco is speechless and declares that although he had guessed as much, he would not believe it.
I ask them to choose an image to express what they desire for the other in their relationship as a couple
Elena rejoices at the idea of semen, which she associates with a long-desired son; Marco remains silent and eventually accepts it.
In the meantime their sexual interaction has resumed and they have distanced themselves from Marco’s family
I ask them to choose an image to represent their couple now
Egon Schiele, “Embrace”, 1917
Marc Chagall, “Over the city”, 1914-1918
Elena: “Us, free to go, free to do as we please…”
Marco’s impotence has been left behind, the relations within the couple have been re-established and the relationship with the outer world has been redefined, the projects of the couple are now aimed at the same goal (a child): I declare the therapy over.
About two years after the ending of the therapy I receive a card from them: it is a reproduction of Egon Schiele, “The family”, 1918.
It is signed “Elena, Marco and Thomas”.
TEST IMMAGINI D’ ARTE
Rodolfo De Berdart
ISTITUTO DI TERAPIA FAMILIARE DI FIRENZE
Disturbi del Comportamento Alimentare (DCA)
Il bambino/I fratelli
Psicosi e Borderline
Attacchi di panico
Andolfi, M. (1977). La terapia con la famiglia. Roma: Astrolabio.
Andolfi, M. e Angelo C. (1985). Famiglia e individuo in una prospettiva trigenerazionale. Terapia Familiare, 19, pp. 17 – 23.
Bateson G. (1976). Verso un’ecologia della mente. Milano: Adelphi.
Bateson G. (1984). Mente e natura. Un’unità necessaria. Milano: Adelphi.
Benjamin, W. (1966). Piccola storia della fotografia, in L’opera d’arte nell’epoca della sua riproducibilità tecnica. Torino: Einaudi.
Bion, W. R. (1972). Apprendere dall’esperienza. Roma: Armando.
Bion, W. R. (1973). Attenzione e interpretazione. Roma: Armando
Bion, W. R. (1973). Trasformazioni: Il passaggio dall’apprendimento alla crescita. Roma: Armando.