Hey everyone! My name is Joey Kovach and I will be the new Art Therapy blogger for Where Creativity Works! I am excited to get started and I hope you all enjoy reading my posts!
Today I will be talking about a rock ceremony that I participated in during my Approaches to Art Therapy class last semester with Dr. Hartman. The week prior to our last day of class, we were asked to bring a rock into class so that we could do the ceremony the following week. When the day came around, my classmates and I each brought in a rock. Most of us brought in rocks that we’d found outside, but some brought in crystals or other rock-adjacent objects to be used during the ceremony.
When it came time to do the ceremony, we each decorated our rocks using a plethora of materials. We all used different materials, including string, tissue paper, oil pastels, and many more. For mine, I chose to use oil pastels and tissue paper. When it came time to begin the ceremony, we all sat in a big circle around the table in the Art Therapy studio. Starting at one end of the circle, we first explained why we decorated the rocks in the ways that we did. The person whose “turn” it was would then pass their rock to the person beside them, and that person would say one word to describe the person whose rock they were holding. The rock would continue to be passed around the circle, each person coming up with a word to describe the person whose rock they were holding.
Being a part of this ceremony made me consider a lot of things about group environments. It helped me to see just how diverse the individuals in any given group could be. Our individual personalities were brought to light through the ways that we decorated our rocks, and also through the words that the other people participating in the ceremony used to describe us. All of our different personalities were able to mesh together to create a positive group outcome for the class, and this ceremony was in many ways a physical manifestation of our personalities coming together.
From a therapeutic standpoint, this type of ceremony can be an effective tool to use because it creates a sense of closure for those who are in the group. It achieves this by allowing one to become cognizant of the contributions that they made to the group through learning the impressions that they made on others involved.
Overall, it was wonderful to have the opportunity to experience this rock ceremony, and it provided me with a good example of a way to end group sessions for when I become an Art Therapist in the future.