Image or art?


1 Jul 2023    
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Bookings closed

Event Type

Image or art? Jungian art therapy, analysis, and the relationship with the unconscious

Nora Swan-Foster

While working in his Red Book, Jung’s use of art materials provided a deliberate and active engagement with the material world. His creative life opened the gates for the unconscious through dialogues with inner figures, and a connection with the deepest parts of his psyche.

In this lecture, I will briefly show how Jung’s clinical views laid the foundation for the eventual development of art therapy and the expressive arts. By grounding theory in image, I will consider how Jung’s unique structure of the psyche, and some of his most challenging ideas, can be more easily accessible through actively engaging with art materials and allowing for the spontaneous images to become visible. Finally, I will also consider the compelling question of whether or not Jung’s pictures are art or images meant for psychic transmutation.

Rather than emphasizing the interpretation of the final image, Jungian art therapy brings a preference to the lived process of engaging with the unconscious through the making of and engaging with spontaneous images that transport healing contents into consciousness. This lecture is vital for anyone who is interested in the intersection between the history and theory of C. G. Jung and the direct experience of the making of personal images.

Please bring a journal or blank sheets of paper with oil crayons and watercolors. If this is not possible, your choice of colorful drawing materials will also work.

Nora Swan-Foster is a Jungian psychoanalyst and art therapist living in Boulder Colorado. She is the author of Jungian Art Therapy (2018), the editor of Art Therapy and Childbearing Issues (2020) and the most recent papers “The Other Made Visible” and “C.G. Jung’s Influence on Art therapy and the Making of the Third.” Along with serving as the North American editor for the Journal of Analytical Psychology, she has had a clinical private practice for over 35 years and taught in the graduate art therapy program at Naropa University since 1994. Nora is a senior analyst with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts, a faculty member of the Memphis/Atlanta Seminar; and a member of the IAAP. She enjoys the adventures of writing, painting, and walking.

Chair: Penny De Haas Curnow

Online CPD event


Bookings are closed for this event.