Recently, I have wondered why I have found so many “closeted” artists among the MA in Psychology and Counseling students at Goddard. Perhaps artists who are students of psychology are intuitively drawn to a field that acknowledges and embraces the power of symbols and metaphor, creative expression, and the unique gifts and talents of each individual.
Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, writes about Shadow Artists. Cameron applies the descriptor, “shadow” in two different ways. In one sense she uses the term to describe individuals who are non-practicing artists and who follow and seek opportunities to share the creative energy and space that surrounds artists who are actively working. This method of obtaining a creative infusion is also related to another use of the word “shadow."
Shadow is also a term used by Carl Jung to describe those aspects of ourselves that we do not acknowledge fully, nor do we integrate into the totality of who we are as our authentic Selves. These un-integrated aspects may be deemed negative or positive. In the situation of Shadow Artists, the creative aspect of the individual, a very positive aspect, remains buried, unexpressed, and unacknowledged because its development has not been supported in the past.
An essential aspect of the training of the counselor is the development of the Self, particularly as it is related to doing healing work with others. In this process of self preparation, Goddard students have created artwork that is not only a response to the theoretical material itself, but also to the experience of personal growth, embracing the identity of “Artist” in the process.
Perhaps it is through the preparation to become a Clinical Mental Health Therapist that the Shadow Artist aspect of the Self is unearthed, integrated, and revealed and begins to make art!!
Examples of Student Work
Download the MP3 of "Sin" a song by Deena Smith (IMA '09 and current MA PSY student).
Deena Smith is a student in the Psychology & Counseling program at Goddard. She is also a professional musician and singer/songwriter who has released two albums. The first album, titled Voices of The Archetypes, was the creative piece of her Master's thesis from Goddard's MA in Individualized Studies program in 2008. The album was written to reflect her experience of Carl Jung's theories of Process of Individuation and the Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious.
The song available above was written for a class she took with Dr. Wendy Phillips at Goddard. The song reflects on one's struggle with one's own demons and is on her second album, The Continuing Story of Roses in Crazyland.
Below is an example of a photographic slideshow by current student Hillary Montgomery of Barre, Vermont: