The Art of the Inner Journey: Symbol as Healing Agent

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Margaret Carpenter Arnett

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"“The Art of the Inner Journey” addresses art as a way of knowing and as an approach to spiritual development from the perspective of participants in my “Art & Meditation” class over a number of years. It features the drawings and stories of eleven women and two men whose drawings were of significant help to them in different and often challenging circumstances of their lives. Most of them were non-artists! The images that came up for them during guided imagery were sometimes a surprise, and working with them a transformational process. that demonstrates the use of art as healing.

This book can be categorized as informational or as self-help. If you use it for self-help it is strongly suggested that you find a therapist or counselor to talk with about your drawings.

Christiane Northrop M.D. said about my work:”
“The power in Margaret’s work comes in part from her ability to help participants access information about themselves crucial to their well-being, which is not generally accessible to the intellect. I have witnessed Margaret’s work with a group of physicians in which she was able to help participants break through the denial and control which is so much a part of physician training. Her work is gentle compassionate and a very important tool in healing.”

Semi-retired, I lead weekly art therapy support groups for cancer patients at the Skagit Valley Cancer Care Center and pursue my art career. I am mindful of what I have learned and experienced about the power of art to heal and lead us deeper on the spiritual journey and want to share this perspective. As one participant said; “this is a class for the artist within, and the only skill required is the willingness to attend to what is offered from that inner well.”

Margaret Carpenter Arnett

Margaret Carpenter Arnett is a registered Art Therapist with a nursing background. With thirty years’ experience in the field of art therapy working in a variety of settings, she has always been particularly interested in the connection between mind body and spirit, and what can be learned from drawings to help create healing in this context. It was this interest that led to creating an “Art & Meditation” group in Seattle from which many of the examples in this book were drawn.


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