The practise of Focusing with images was the key element of six workshops held for postgraduate research students at the University of East Anglia, UK. Participants were invited both to respond to extant images (including those from the university’s art galleries) as well as to create their own images through working with paint and other art materials. Changes in this highly anxious group’s ability to access and manage inner experiencing as a result of their participation in these workshops was recorded and assessed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Participants completed the Focusing Manner Scale (FMS) at the beginning and at the end of their participation in the workshops and improvement (p = 0.063) was seen in 6 out of 7 participants, indicating a shift in their ability to find ways of processing difficult experiencing. The FMS findings are supplemented by reconstructions of Focusing sessions based on field notes taken during the workshops. Images not only offer external representations of inner experiencing but also provide material for experience to be carried forward.
- arts based methods
- person centred