An Exploration into theHealing Power of Dollmaking
• Why the study-Why Dolls• Participants• Theories that support the study• The tools• The Process - Guardian - Scapegoat - Talisman - Inner Healer• The Outcome
• To develop a step by step process to assist people in making a healing doll• To determine whether dollmaking can produce change and transformation and healing• To explore the possibility of teaching such a process on line and create a healing community
• I have been using dollmaking in my own healing process and found it powerful.• Students in my classes were making dolls that was engaging them to dive deep into a process that was offering them insight into a challenging aspect of their life.• I found a few people in country who were using dollmaking for transformation and healing and I wanted to discover what they knew.• Dolls have been used in medicine rituals since ancient times.
Creating an art doll with the intention of healinginvites and encourages the doll creator to explorea range of perceptions and emotions and in doingso reach a deeper level of self understanding.Making a healing doll can serve as a catalyst thatinduces the healing process, awaken long loststories and creates a transformation.Dollmaking and dolls can serve as healing tools.
• 30 women signed up, 20 stayed with group• Ages 40 and above• From US, UK and Australia
• Class was facilitated on yahoogroups as healing doll project.• Participants join the group and sent emails of their process, questions, and support and photos to group• Six lessons sent out about every two weeks, with flexible to extend if group needed it.• I facilitated process and coached• Designed as three month process
MindmappingVisual Journaling.Non-Dominant Hand WritingMeditative WalksCollageSculpture
Trust your intuitionStay open to possibilitiesBe willing to be in the unknownPlay with your imaginationBe inquisitive, eager to learn; ask what would happen if?Stand back and question your beliefsKnow that creativity involves a processDo not prejudge or anticipate where the imagery will take youAllow yourself to learn and be guided by the experienceRemember you are not broken and do not need to be fixedConnect with a safe, supportive other; a person who is abelieving mirror, a witness with whom you can share yourdoll creations
Healing is often confused with curing. Curing a disease or illness iswhat medical science attempts to do through externalintervention, treatment and medication. Curing cannot always occur.Healing is always possible.The broadest definition of healing is to become whole, regardless ofany situation or circumstance. Healing is in its very essence is aprocess of transformation – from illness to wellness, fromdysfunction to integration, from breakdown to wholeness.The task of healing is: to strip away layers of physical and emotional numbness; to bring movement to what has become stuck; to respond to rescues from the body mind; to reclaim the riches of the feeling world; to find our deepest level of integrity. from Visual Journaling - Ganim
ART THERAPYThe fundamental principal of the art therapies is that they provide opportunitiesto make concrete objects representing feelings and thoughts that are elusive,hidden and mysterious.EXPRESSIVE ARTS THERAPYThis emphasizes the artistic process as a means of emotional expressionand release. The artwork is not used as a diagnostic tool because it is believedthat only the person who created the work knows the meaning inherent in it.STRESS REDUCTIONArt heals by changing a persons physiology and attitude from one ofstress to one of deep relaxation, from one of fear to one of creativityand inspiration.GATE THEORY OF PAIN MANAGEMENTThe fundamental basis for this theory is the belief that psychological as well asphysical factors guide the brains interpretation of painful sensations and thesubsequent response.
PSYCHONEUROIMMUNOLOGY The underlying theory of this science is that the body, mind and spirit are interconnected and that one cannot treat one without affecting another. It also suggests that the ultimate healing must come from within the individual; that we all have a mind and a soul that influences and creates who we are - even our illness.IMAGERY AND HEALING The work of the relationship between the body and the imagination.NARRATIVE PSYCHOLOGY The stories we tell about our lives contain all the clues for what we believe, what afflicts us and how to heal.
Designate or create a journal to use for this processPractice mindmappingPractice writing with your non-dominant handSet an intentionChoose a witness and meet with her or him…….Do the journal activities about symbols and metaphorsRead about feelings and do the feeling face assignmentsMake at least ten feeling faces in any medium
- Think about what you want to heal. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about this? - I want to heal ____________________ - Then complete the following sentence. Healing for me will be ______________________ - Consider how you and your world will be different once you reached this goal. How will you and your world look, sound, move, feel like, smell and taste?
• Examples - “I intend to heal the fearful child within.” - “I intend to focus my healing energies toward accepting who I am.” - “I intend to focus on healing my broken heart.” - “I intend to heal my self-worth, to focus on healing energy toward accepting my body.”- “ I intend to let go of the shame and guilt for being the spiritual person I am and not what others want me to be.”- “I intend to focus healing energy toward claiming my power.”
• Self esteem, love and acceptance• Depression• Fear• Letting go of shame• Relationships with men and mother• Self image, taking care of self• Illness, disease
Symbols will emerge.Identify colors, shapes, forms, patterns,and texturesIdentify personal story, myth andarchetypes
One of the most important aspect of healing dolls. Feelings are messengers that deliver essentialinformation about what’s going on inside of you.Dollmaking helps express and release feelings.Feelings are meant to be felt, understood and exploredand then released.The more you try to hide from or ignore a feeling the morepersistent it can become.Stuffing them doesn’t make them go away just pushes theminto your physical energetic system which could end up inillness or disease.
1. Set an intention2. GUARDIAN: Make a doll that represents protection3. SCAPEGOAT: Identify the pain/stress/ wound/ problem that is blocking getting intention4. Release the block through the dollmaking5. TALISMAN: Make a doll that represents healing goal6. INNER HEALER: Make a doll that is the inner healer - focusing on lessons learnedIn 2011 I added a fifth doll – Loving Kindness to bring in compassion during the process
Representsprotection, safety, compassion, hope, possibility andencouragement.Stands witness and isalways present whiledollmaker is making theother dolls.
Symbolizes what is gettingin the way of the healinggoal.May be the most importantdoll in the process – opensup the most potential forhealing.
Offers an opportunity tocreate a balance in the storyof the pain.Strong and powerful doll thatcan pull dollmaker from thepast into the present andfuture.Symbol of healing intention.
An image that reminds thedollmaker that all healingresources are within.Reminder that painfulexperiences can offerinsight, compassion andpathways to the imagination.
My intention to dark to love myself, ultimately to heal thefearful child within.
I intend to focus healing energy towards theexpression of my female power, and the creation of thenext phase of my life.I believe healing for me will be about learning to trustmy intuitive more each day, and to maintain balanceon this walk.
My focus will be on love and compassion andacceptance of myself - especiallymy hurt, little girl self. I dont think I haveever given her very much kindness. I havetreated her just the way my mother did, alwaysdisappointed, thinking that she wasnt goodenough
INTENTION: I want to focus my healingenergies towards that frightened little girl.Healing will mean that she will be able tocome out into the light and not give herselfaway piece by piece. Healing will mean thatshe integrate responsibility for her OWNCARE into her life as important and criticaland learn to love herself piece by piece
I have been called a fearful person. I have always felt such shamein that. And yet I have come to know that this inner world that ourgroup is entering so deeply, so freely, so courageously is a land thatmost people, including those who have accused me, absolutely fearto tread. I have come to know that it is ok to accept some fears inmyself and reject others as too restrictive. The fears that I canaccept have lost a great deal of their power over me. Its not that Ino longer fear bears for example, its that I am no longer shamed byit. The fears that I have deemed too restrictive, that interfere withmy life in a way that is not ok with me, I can work on now withoutshame. The shame factor totally changes the energy of fear into amuch bigger, badder thing. A nearly impossible thing to work on.Take away the shame and it is not such a big deal after all.Debi K.
I found the artist in me, and discovered that I could do somethings that I never knew that I could do before. I found placesin me that I didnt know existed--creative places. My handsbecame free to explore and discover using materials--fabrics, paints and clays- in ways that I had only admired inothers. Working with the materials, especially the clay broughta sense of peace. and comfort. I learned that I need a strongcreative process in my life. One that allows me to work withmy hands--engaging me physically as well as mentally. visuallyan outlet that becomes a physical representation of myfeelings and emotions. When Im done, I find I can breathe.
This is a very special place that Barb has created to go deeply and be held by those on a similar journeyat the same time. It is amazing what can be done on the Internet! If you have found this group you aremeant to be here". Lisa Victoria, Australia"Barb is a fabulous teacher who loves to share her many years of experience making whimsical andsoulful "dolls". Her doll sculpting process is a form of creative expression that engages the psyche andbrings healing and insight.“ Val Olson, Minneapolis"She is not only unique, but compassionate, funny and knows exactly how to make learning aboutyourself a fun experience!“ "Her work is archetypal and inspiring as artwork for meditation and reflectiontoo.“ "The workshops I took with her were life transforming.“ "She is great at encouraging others to trustand believe in themselves.""Her work is accessible, BEAUTIFUL and surprises viewers into their opening up and healing their ownselves."I can trace the beginning of my own career as an artist back to the day I spent with Barb in1994, where her intuition and creativity helped me see all the possibilities within me.""If you have the opportunity, read through her site, she is a wealth of information and a kind, generoussoul, who really helped me learn and love more about ME. “ Sharon"Barb is a creative genius who goes out of her way to produce innovative, quality products. I cannot sayenough for her skills and her work ethic! Her skills have helped countless people around the world."Kelly Guinanwww.celebratingpeace.com
This is our answer: our language is poetry. Do you understand?Our language is signs, symbols, sacred objects:we are sacred people.We have magical properties.There are many things to be done,people to be healed, houses to be built.It is not a time to be together.It is a time to be separate,to learn what it means to be alone.We tell you this: we are doing the impossible.We are teaching ourselves to be human.When we are finished,the strands which connect uswill be unbreakable; alreadywe are stronger than we have ever been...Thus we move: silently, separately;our name is buried in various sacred spots all over the land.We are waiting until it is safe to claim it.Though we move silently, separate,can you hear our joint voices singing,singing our womens songs in ever widening circles?Listen. We are making ready.Hear our music across the dying land...from Tribes by Martha Courtot, published by Pearlchild Press.