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Victoria Arkhangelskaya 1
  • 1 Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Sretenka, 29, Moscow, Russia, 127051.

Guided Drawing and the Work with Symbolic Forms

2014. Vol. 11. No. 3. P. 79–95 [issue contents]

This paper presents a psychotherapeutic method to work with the experience by drawing of symbolic forms. The guided drawing method was suggested and used in the existential-initial psychotherapy developed by K. Durckheim in the 1950s in Germany. The first part of the article describes the ways of guided drawing. The second part discusses some of the key concepts and provides a framework in which therapeutic work by guided drawing is considered as an approach to therapeutic experience. The author attempts to justify this technique based on the ideas of cultural-historical theory of LS Vygotsky. In the third part of the article the author makes an attempt to understand the mechanisms of metaphor and symbol in psychotherapeutic work with experience. The article discusses the difference between symbols and other symbolic forms and literary tropes. Symbolic forms that are used as part of this method are the tools that can be compared with metaphor and symbol. They allow the client to perform a reflexive action in relation to their own experience and thereby mediate the process of experience and master their emotional states and behavior. Psychotherapeutic work with experience, considered from the perspective of cultural-historical theory of LS Vygotsky, first appears in its intersubjective form as part of a dialogue between client and therapist, and only then becomes available to the client and moves onto intrasubjective level. Dialogue is constructed as therapist’s revealing support of the client's experience. The therapist performs a special interpretation work aimed at the development of the experience obtained in the process of drawing and client’s self-understanding begins to take the central place in that.

Citation: Arkhangelskaya,V. V. (2014). Guided Drawing and the Work with Symbolic Forms. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, 11(3), 79-95 (in Russian)
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