Creative Hypnotherapy and the Self Portrait

“The original purpose of this project was to work with volunteers who had had no formal training in the visual arts and who didn’t see themselves as either ‘artistic’ or ‘creative’. It was intended to introduce them to the power of hypnosis and to demonstrate how it might be used to help them develop sufficient confidence in their untapped creative abilities to enable them to begin producing artwork of which they would be proud, based around themes relevant to their personal identities and their wider understanding of the human condition. It soon became obvious, however, as more volunteers came forward, that there was also an opportunity to work with people who had been trained as artists but who had found themselves suffering from the visual arts equivalent of writer’s block, and in so doing, help them re-establish their ‘creative muse’.

The artwork on display, and the personal development it represents, was nurtured through a series of one-to-one sessions combining the use of creative hypnotherapy with the more familiar form of tutorial support provided by tutors on creative courses at colleges and universities across the country to speed up the processes of learning and change. The artwork and personal statements produced by each of the volunteers for this exhibition attempt to demonstrate the effectiveness of the journey they have taken so far in developing, or reigniting, their ability to think and act creatively and laterally and to express themselves through an effective visual language regardless of their ‘natural artistic’ ability and any previous training they may have had in the visual art disciplines. And in that regard, it seems to support a view held widely by psychotherapists (including Sigmund Freud) that an effective interaction between client (i.e. volunteer) and therapist (i.e. tutor/ hypnotherapist) will always tend to produce a trance-like, or hypnotic, state that encourages and enables accelerated learning, increased self-knowledge and, in this instance, a more highly developed ability to articulate feelings and ideas in a visual language.”

James Copp,
Creative Consultant,
 January 2012

Each tutorial/ hypnotherapy session was tailored to the individual volunteer in developing:

  • Their creative ability, self-belief, potential as visual artists and their suitability as subjects for hypnosis
  • Their knowledge and understanding of a range of creative methodologies to help them find personal expression through visual communication
  • Hypnotherapy sessions to build confidence in their own inherent creativity and their ability to use the visual arts as a means of effective personal expression and communication
  • Their ability and willingness to compare and contrast their own individual experiences of the project with those of the other volunteers
  • The artwork and documentation exhibited here as a demonstration of their journey through the project and the outcomes from the process