Clay Lead Active Imagination

Inspired by Carl Jung’s concept of active imagination, ‘Clai’ differs from the usual format of creative arts therapies. As well as utilising clay as a medium through which to access and give form to ones internal world, it offers the possibility of embodying the process in a final ceramic piece.

Active imagination, orginally termed the Transcendent Function, came about through Jung’s own explorations of his internal world, and the conflicts and images therein.

Amongst his conclusions was the sense that within us all is a dynamic process, which given the opportunity can unite apparently opposing polarities within our own psyche and lead to a new more integrated position.

In other words we may experience symbolic and actual growth that takes us from a binary ‘either /or’ sense of our own situation, to the sense of new possibilities that incorporate more of a ‘both/ and’ attitude.

This can be helpful in terms of moving beyond habitual life patterns and experiencing personal growth and development. It may also be a useful tool in tackling specific issues and blocks or in making key decisions at transitional stages of life. 

The work is organic and holistic, beginning with a planning stage where we identify your focus for the process.

In the next stage I will encourage you to allow the clay to ‘lead the way’ into a less formulated level where your movements and actions with the clay emerge naturally rather than by intention. The forming process becomes a co-creation between you and the material. Out of this fluidity new thought processes and realisations are likely to emerge that we can think about together.

In the final stage, your conscious intention is invited back into play as you work with the clay to give form to what has emerged from the expression of your unconscious processes.

Your final piece, the result of the integration of different aspects of self, may then be glazed and fired. This can be taken away as a talismanic symbol that honours your process, embodies new possibilities and represents your intention for what comes next.

It’s a good idea to approach this process with an open mind as clay is a particularly powerful conveyer of hitherto unknown or unexpressed aspects of self. There are likely to be surprises along the way.