Caitlin W

As an art therapist I am dedicated to a path of healing. Through my artwork I am able to shine light on the spaces inside me that were once dark. The images in this show document an untangling process. The artwork facilitated a self-exploration process in which I examined the deep feelings of countertransference and vicarious trauma I was feeling after meeting with a particular client. As I created, I began to explore my emotional reactions separate from those of my client’s. This allowed me to explore more deeply with my client without being clouded through my personal lens of seeing the world.

The first image documents initial feelings of anger. As I explored those emotions, I came to realize that the anger was serving as a mask. My anger towards the system I was working within was serving as a safe distraction focusing on social injustices and my role in correcting the system. I then realized that I was also feeling something a bit deeper. The core emotion sparking these deep emotions was loneliness. In the art process I gave myself fully to feeling all off the sorrow and loneliness I had not been acknowledging. In this process, I found that these emotions are my own apart from my client. This untangling allows me to connect with clients on a deep level while remaining grounded in order to advocate purely in their interest.