I am the art studio, but your child is the artist

Le Cadre.

I could be referring to a suit who works at a bank in Paris.

But I’m not.

Le cadre in french is a bank manager, a picture frame, a stretcher.
In art therapy, most clients are not looking for a bank manager, a hospital stretcher, or a picture frame.  They are looking for a support system, a framework, a way of helping them navigate.

In France, the idea of the cadre psychotherapeutique, is that there are certain physical elements needed to create a therapeutic alliance.  This alliance helps the patient feel safe and secure.  These elements include a physical space, an agreement on the time, the place, and the payment exchanged.

But what if there is no physical space?  In my case, I am the bookmobile of art therapy, bringing my services to my clients, instead of them coming to me.  This shakes up the whole alliance, we are no longer on neutral territority.

Is this compromising?

Not if I have the frame work deeply anchored in who I am.  If I know what I am capable of, and how I can work with a client, then I don’t need the four walls of an art studio to create stability and security, I know that I am the passer, the art studio, and that my client is the actor.  I bring the walls for them to paint on.  What we are doing is creating together.  I provide the support, and they provide the brushstrokes, the ideas, the action.  I am an easel to their Picasso.  And this is where the healing begins.Paper provides a certain framework for clients

Published by Julie Cutelli

An EAL teacher, counselor, social work, and art therapist with over eighteen years of teaching and counseling experience in the international school setting. My educational background includes studies in art therapy, social work, and international education, and numerous workshop experiences with children who have autism, learning difficulties, or are gifted. I am currently an EAL teacher at the International School of Paris.

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