chapter
5 Pages

Introduction

WithPatricia Anne Elwood

This book is about the unconscious and how it expresses itself through the simple and effective method of spontaneous drawing. Jung himself, convinced that spontaneity provided access to the unconscious and its contents, painted, drew, chiselled and built castles in the sand all his life. Since Jung’s time little attention has been paid to this approach in psychology and even less in psychiatry. In the 1920s with the interest in child analysis some attention was paid to this method. In the 1940s Action Painting gave value to the spontaneous gestures and impulses and still holds its ground today. Jean Dubuffet introduced Art Brut in the 1940s, and although he paid particular attention to uncultivated art and art of the mentally ill, it was not essentially spontaneous. It was Jung and his collaborators who encouraged the spontaneous action as a method of exploration of the unconscious. I have had two main predecessors who have explored this method persistently in their work: Susan Bach, who worked with somatic illnesses in children since the 1930s; and Gregg Furth, who used this method with patients of all ages. The analysis of the spontaneous drawing is both a science and an art. As a science it requires a basic understanding of the structure as well as experience with symbolism and unconscious processes. As an art it requires experience and encompasses all the functions of the psyche, feeling, thinking, sensation and intuition. This book follows a Jungian approach and includes an introduction to the psychology of Jung.