Person Centred Creativity
What is Person-Centred Creativity?
The ethos and values of Person-Centred Creativity are based on a belief in creativity as a powerful tool for individual and social change. Person-Centred Creativity offers a set of techniques to involve individuals or a group or community in creating their own piece of art work.
The workshops bring people together to reflect about their lives, explore issues or simply to be creative and to tell their stories. It is therefore primarily about process, though high quality and accessible end products can be created using these methods. This process can be very empowering, enabling individuals and or groups to solve their own problems, and also to communicate their needs and ideas to decision-makers and/or other groups and communities.
The theoretical aspects of the work uses Carl Rogers’ ‘Person-Centred’ counselling techniques as the foundation, particularly for building an understanding of the importance of the following in the creative process:
- Empathy, genuineness and unconditional positive regard
- Working as equals
- Interpersonal skills, listening skills, and the ability to work with people in different situations
- Self-awareness, boundaries, triggers, prejudices and how to deal with them
- Creating safe environments for the participants, where they feel respected, not judged and can be open.
Who is it for?
Everybody! We believe that creative expression is an important part of people’s health and happiness. The power of the creative process can change people’s perspective; they are the experts of their lives.
Rather than seeing limitations and what they cannot do participants see possibilities. The patients in a hospital become film makers, spending a few hours concentrating on being healthy rather than on being ill. Clients in a mental health drop in centre put aside the label and concentrate on writing and performing.
Creative opportunities give individuals the chance to feel valued, to improve their self-esteem and to discover the potential they have.
How does it work?
It is very important for people to be heard and understood. People are the experts of their lives – they have lived it; solutions to problems like bullying, homelessness, improving mental and physical health very rarely come from academics but from the people who have experienced it.
Person-Centred Creativity is about listening to and learning about the reality of the participants, creating a safe environment, challenging and supporting the individuals or groups involved.
Often the participants we work with find themselves marginalised or excluded for a range of reasons and carry negative labels in the eyes of society such as ‘non-achiever’, ‘homeless’, ‘young offender’, ‘mentally ill’, ‘unemployed’, ‘drug user’. It is important for them to meet people who don’t judge them. In order for any real creative expression to take place, facilitators need to accept individuals for who they are and to treat them as equals.
By documenting their situation and experiences participants become more self-aware, they understand their own patterns of behaviour and how they relate to others, and this creative process gives the participants an opportunity to find their own solutions.
In addition to this therapeutic process policy-makers seeing the work produced (DVD, Performance, Exhibition etc ) will be able to make decisions based on research made by the people who are affected rather than outside observers.