ONE WEEK SESSION
ABOUT DAPHNA SAKER MASSEY
I am trained as an expressive arts therapist and I am an artist. My interest is in a new definition that stands between these two fields.
The method I work in has therapeutic elements and it holds the structure and principles of the expressive arts therapy theory but as I participate as an artist in the process and facilitate a self – inquiry experience, it does not fit into the classical definitions of therapist or artist.
ABOUT THE REAL DREAM METHOD
What are the Real Dream sessions?
The sessions are a step-by-step creative process. We start with talking for a few minutes and having a cup of tea. I ask some questions that appear in the questioner later on regarding their arrival at the sessions.
The work is done mostly in a darkened space and it involves having one’s portrait taken, and includes various artistic elements such as storytelling, writing, drawing, and sound. We go into the art process and I explain that for me the process is about allowing the art to come into the room, not only as something that arrives from within us but as something that comes from the outside.
ABOUT THE REAL DREAM PROCESS
What are the Real Dream sessions?
The aim of the method is to stimulate and empower youth workers, leaders, educators who are in the moment of doubt, unmotivated, disempowered or in need of a break. To acknowledge questions that are coming up, to recharge there own batteries and hopefully gain insights in this particular moment of their professional and personal life.
In Berlin, there are many volunteers and many people working with refugees who I think need support and mindful thought out leadership. I am very interested in developing methods where people can find insight in the deep yet short process.
I have invited 3 people to participate in the research. Each one of them is working as a youth trainer. Each of the participants was invited for a one-week deep process. The week starts with a real dream session in my studio, continues with the journal where the participants will be asked to write and do creative tasks every day, and at the second real dream session we look at the journal and concluded the week.
During the following week, I sent a few questions about the process, the tasks and the experience to the participants in a hope of fishing out at the end some interesting insights and practical tools.
These are the questions I asked myself before starting the process:
- Can the method be applied when looking for help with a clear professional intention?
- Will youth workers be able to take something personally and professionally from this short process?
- Will the one-week session work?
- Will the journal help support the process?
- Will the reader benefit from reading the process with the voice of the participants deciding what to share?
- Will the reader use the journal, will they benefit from it?
An overview of the sessions:
What can a reader take from this?
- This is a different approach to art making. It is based on the expressive arts practice where both people are first of all artists sharing an art experience. It proposes a new approach of being with someone in an artistic space and looks at the art as something we can invite into the room and not only as a fruit of our own psyche.
- The method involves different art mediums. The concept of becoming playful is important and opens people to new ways of seeing. It may be a key in helping people see past their own habitual patterns.
In regards to the participant’s process:
The real dream session starts with a conversation over a cup of tea. When we go through to the writing part I start by asking participants to sit with themselves and write about how they have arrived, what they are going through. I never read what they write but I ask that they share with me what they wish to share.
Then we move to the art portraits. I collected through the years many great photographs and paintings, all portraits, mostly masterpieces.
The participant chooses a postcard, in the first session whiteout seeing the card and in the second session the cards are open and the selection is their choice.
The idea is to start the process of giving a choice but one that is unpredictable and takes the participant to an uncontrolled beginning.
Ones they have chosen the card I guide them into writing about the person in the picture. Then we go to painting, first session into watercolors second with acrylic. Both times I guide step by step until an abstract image is created.
Once the painting is done, that painting becomes the background of their portrait. As I take their portrait they are sited in the darkened room and as I am taking the photograph I light them with flashlights and I ask them questions. They answer these questions in their head and not out loud. So once this part is finished they go back to the desk and write the stories that came.
This is the co-art making session.
- They have written
- And created a story
- I guided them and photographed.
The first session is not closed, I do not create a closure rather treat it as the opening of the process and ask that the images and words that came up are given the freedom to move within the participant’s minds for the next few days.
ABOUT THE – FOR PARTICIPANTS AND READERS
This is a private sketchbook with an artistic assignments that I have created for this project. Each of the 6 days, in between the 2 sessions, the participant will have a task. The reader will have 3 days and both participants and readers are asked to give the task 10 minutes or more each day.
At the beginning of the second session I look together with the participants at the sketchbook and choose what pages can be shared in the platform and one favorite task to give the reader in their reader book. The reader may share their experience of the book on the platform.
The journal is meant for keeping a creative flow, keeping a playful and open mind can help you expand your ability to confront issues you are going through and feel stuck with. This is why, for the reader this is a tool that stands by itself.
The sessions and the journals work under this same principal; when you expand your play you expand your mind.
As the reader you are offered the journals of participants, you may see the art that was co-created and read about the experiences of the participants in their own words. The three journals are offered as three separate readings. The journals include images from both sessions and some words about the One Week Session.
You are given an option of an experience. The reader’s journal is offered as a PDF to be downloaded and used for your own playful and creative experience. I took the tasks that participants have written as their favorites and kept the form of the original journals.
We would be happy to have your feedback and hear about your experience, you may add your impression at our forum
THE READER’S BOOK
This is a journal that may be used online or printed and worked on separately. You have the opportunity of a three-day experience. The exercises where all chosen by the people who participated in books 1-3, they each chose a favorite task for the reader to try out. They each connected with a different task thus creating the 3 day experience.
It is not as demanding and the process is very different when you are on your own without a facilitator, still it would be interesting to hear your thoughts.
When you have finished we would be happy show on this platform your written thoughts about the process and the writing or artistic work you would like to share.
I am curios to hear did these exercises give you an insight about the way of the arts and how you could use them personally or professionally?
Did you enjoy the process?
Did something surprise you?
Enjoy and let us know how it went.