Projective Identification in Intuitive Painting: The key to client’s heart

Projective Identification (PI) is a well-established and researched phenomenon in psychology, first presented as a part of object relation theory.

In short, PI is a unique quick process in which one's unconscious disharmonies are projected to someone close to him (family, friend, therapist) in a way that the person whom the unsettled content was projected to feels as if these are his own feelings.

In many places, this phenomenon is a ground for inter-personal conflicts, confusion, misunderstandings and pain especially when the people involved in this ambigous process are not aware to what they are subjected to.

Yet in Intuitive Painting we manage to make a positive use of this phenomenon and turn it into an opportunity to help people cope better with their conflicts through a flowing and enjoyable creation.

And this is how it's done: The Intuitive Painting Leader is trained to listen carefully to the Projective Identification that develops inside him while the participants are encouraged to work freely with the colors.
Through a special mental process that involves NO understanding and NO analyzing of the emotional content that passes him the Intuitive Painting Leader manages to "send back" what was projected to him through a symbolic, playful, surprising and creative prompt that gives the participant an opportunity to work with his emotional complexitiy through a flowing game without involving logical thinking of what's going on.

In fact, for this to really succeed, both the leader as well as the painter/client should remain BLIND to the uncovered emotional disharmony that being on the focus of the Intuitive Painting work. As as this goal is achieved, asuccessful process is guaranteed.

Through the course of training, the Intuitive Painting leaders become sort of "mediums" that learn how to feel the projected material, how NOT to think about it and how to send it back to make it become a spontaneous creation without any logical processing or an attempt to understnad by the two sides: the participant and the leader. As long as this "double blind" principle is kept, the Intuitive Painting work can make its contribution in relieving much of the tension involved in unsettled conflicts.

One may argue about the efficacy or validity of a process that does not involve discussion and verbal elaboration.  This is a direct result of a long standing habit of relying solely on left brain's logical mechanisms in trying to cope with a challenge. Yet so many "illogical" things take place in our emotional field, that its origin is right brain, the more creative and intuitive part of our mind.

Intuitive Painting, therefore, takes this very strange phenomenon, Projective Identificatoin, and through a process that focuses on creative work that transforms the true emotional content (and probably wouldn't if a logical intervention had been added) allows people a practical tool to deal with their repressed and stuck conflicts.

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