Messing about with ideas around anger – using an exercise described by Cathy Malchiodi

Monika sent me a link to an interesting link through the facebook page ‘Psychotherapy Networker’

This three-part process uses the body as a foundation for exploring emotions and personal narratives: https://bit.ly/2G8EVjh by Creative Arts and Play Therapy Series at Guilford Press’s Cathy Malchiodi

The article describes how to use this process and describes examples of using it with a client. It goes into lots of detail and is a good read.

I wanted to have a go. Monika and I might use this idea with one of our art journaling groups.

The points below are lifted straight from the article

1) ‘ Show through colors, shapes, and lines what you’re feeling. Don’t worry about making it into ‘art

Wednesday Morning

I had woken up feeling very grumpy and in a lot of pain

I tried using red water colour pencils scribbling a circle really fast and then drawing squiggly orange lines- it wasn’t intense enough the colour of the pencils were a bit thin

I had a go using some gelato crayons I picked up in Seoul 3 yrs ago – I love the texture and rich feeling when you draw – it’s like spreading lipstick on to the paper ( I wish they came in more environmentally friendly packaging )

This was richer – but the paper was too small ( A4 – 10″/8″approx)

I tried A3

This was a better representational what I was feeling grumpy angry with lots of energetic pain – I worked very quickly blending the colours by only working strokes on top of each other – I missed my circles so I messed about layering the 3 photos in the Imageblender app

2) ‘Drawing the perception of that feeling in the body’.

( As I said I was very grumpy and in pain in quite a few places. I drew on a screen dumped image from Shutter Stock – I chose one that wasn’t sylph like ….)

I felt that these images weren’t expressing how I was feeling in a viceral way – my anger and the perceived pain were dissipating but I wanted a more vibrant image ……

3)  “What kind of story would that image tell me if it could talk? If it’s a worry, for example, what would that worry say?”

Initially I didn’t do this exercise, as I said my mood had improved during the exercise. I also had a bit of trouble working out what voice my pain would have. Seems a bit daft because there is a great example – I think I was having trouble making the pain talk as if it was in the first person ….

after a couple of hours doing other things this happened – (warning hubby says I am relishing my nasty vicious side in this piece , to be read with humour and a loud booming voice)

‘I am pain – running riot this morning eating into the muscles at the back of your neck,over the top surface of your brain.

You were stupid on Tuesday exercising and not warming up – I am making your back pay – shooting arrows into your hip- burning up your your muscles nipping and biting around your vertebra with every twist or turn

– for Gods sake lie down or sit still – then see what I can do after 20 mins without moving mwaaahaaaaaaahhhaaaaa

Lets bloat up your stomach until it’s so tight and throbbing you can’t think straight

– yes take that deep breath, I’ll catch your lungs and intestines on thorns as the air flows back in

I’m sewing needles through the skin of your left breast – can you feel it ache, as I pull the thread taught. let’s not forget your hands as I stick pins into your joints trying to distract you whilst you hold your phone just too long – oh yes – I feed on your internal screaming’

‘This is the three-part harmony starts the flow of embodied intelligence and becomes the foundation of trauma reparation and integration via the arts’

Thursday afternoon

Today my pain narrative doesn’t feel within me , when I re read what’s written on the page – probably because it was far too much fun making it as horrid as possible – I don’t feel that this matter’s too much , because making the art work took me out of my self and reduced the anger and pain ……


1 thought on “Messing about with ideas around anger – using an exercise described by Cathy Malchiodi

  1. Dear Tess, I mentioned on InstaG the other day I watched a video about cutting patchwork squares for quilts, but could not really leave you a link easily there…. This is the video I watched that helped me to cut squares straight! https://youtu.be/c8QhWh5KrYU – I do not know if it is what you are looking for, but it helped me quite a bit. :o) Feel better!!

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