Evolutionary Art Therapy®

Why Evolutionary?

Because life is movement and we are in constant evolution, just like the psyche. Evolutionary Art Therapy
guides the person in his growth process. This evolutionary therapy is of a spiritual nature.

The Evolutionary Art Therapy was created in 2000 by Marie-Odile Brêthes following the writing of the book: “Le Dessin Guérisseur” (The Healing Drawing). This book was the forerunner of the Evolutionary Art Therapy and explains the basis of the analysis of the drawings based on the symbolism we find in the drawings and paintings made by mankind throughout the centuries: the symbolism of the 4 elements, the colours, the numbers, geometry, archetypes, etc… The innovative aspect of this therapeutic work is based on the transformation of the drawings in order to send images and messages of peace and balance in a conscious way to the psyche.

In 2015, Marie-Odile Brêthes wrote “L’art-thérapie évolutive®“, the reference book for this innovative work in the field of Evolutionary Art Therapy.

Ecole Plénitude continues to develop Evolutionary Art Therapy by writing books on the subject. We are constantly looking for evolution. Life is movement.

In Evolutionary Art Therapy the meeting or dialogue between the conscious and the unconscious is of fundamental importance. That is why therapeutic guidance is based on the analysis and interpretation of the artwork. In this way the Evolutive Art Therapist will be able to guide the person in discovering his psyche, in discovering his unknown qualities, energy sources and potential.

Thanks to the reading of the symbols of the artistic work, the person will receive the hidden messages of his unconscious. It is a dialogue created to guide the person towards the evolution of his or her consciousness.

Drawing an emotion, a relationship, an aspect of a person’s personality, a dream, immediately gives a feeling of inner peace. In this way we indicate the reality of what can be experienced as confused, blurred or purely imaginary. Evolutionary Art Therapy considers the artwork as a privileged means of accessing the psyche. That is why we offer a method of symbolic analysis. This analysis, both intuitive and rigorous, which takes into account the data of symbolism and psychology, allows us to understand the expressed emotions or inner conflicts. Thanks to this approach, the drawing becomes a revealing document that shows how the person’s development is hindered or how his/her life dynamics are slowed down. Understood and analysed, the drawing will be an irreplaceable tool for progress and liberation for the person.

Through the transformation of the artwork or drawing (cutting, pasting, modelling, magnifying, tearing and/or burning) the inner energies are transmuted and the person sends a message of resilience and fulfilment to his or her psyche, which has a wonderful healing effect.

Myths, archetypes, the transpersonal psychology that stimulates the qualities, the symbolism, working on analogies, are among others central in this analytical approach. The goal is to guide everyone to develop their qualities and to open themselves to a new outlook on life based on joy, abundance and universal love.

Evolutionary Art Therapy unifies the knowledge of Transpersonal Humanistic psychology, Symbolism, Archetypes, Sublime Art, Contemporary Spirituality and Esoterism.

The symbolic analysis

How can the unconscious become conscious?

Through symbols and evolutionary psychology, the person can gain access to his unconscious. This unconscious expresses itself in dreams, thoughts, visions, drawings, paintings, poems, gestures… with the aim of understanding them. Meeting these inner symbols is within everyone’s reach. However, listening to these signs, observing them, understanding them, analysing them and becoming aware of them needs to be learned.

Evolutionary Art Therapy will also enable the person to develop his or her potential, creativity and qualities. The positive energetic symbols chosen for their creative, fruitful power will send a renewed, transforming message to the psyche.

This is why the ‘Plenitude school’ offers a method of symbolic analysis that is both intuitive and rigorous. This method takes into account the data of symbolism (the 4 Elements, the colours, the archetypes, the neotypes…) and links them to the evolutionary psychology developed specifically for this training. This evolutionary psychology integrates contemporary spirituality which gives its true dimension to psychological growth at the level of consciousness. This makes Evolutionary Art Therapy a groundbreaking approach in its field.

The artistic mediums

Artistic expression reveals what ‘lives within’ the self. The person realises on paper, on canvas, in clay, in dance, singing, speech, writing, theatre, a message he or she holds in his or her psyche. The Evolutionary Art Therapist guides him in understanding the information expressed. All these forms of expression are analysed using analogies and symbolic language. Within the Evolutionary Art Therapy® the reading of symbols, signs and expressions is taught as a language. On the basis of these artistic expressions, we discover great fragments of the person’s history, emotions, beliefs, feelings, creativity and existential aspirations.

Drawing with soft pastels

It is the preferred drawing tool within Evolutionary Art Therapy®. Soft pastels are very easy to use by all target groups, from children to the elderly. One does not need to have any drawing experience and within the practice of the evolutionary process the drawings are very easy to transform. After all, it is the transformation that initiates the evolutionary process.

Other mediums

Painting, collage, clay, writing, singing, dancing, theatre, listening to music. Each medium has a predetermined role in the therapeutic process. For more information about these art mediums, please consult the website of école plénitude.

The practice

Evolutionary Art Therapy® is for every audience: children, teenagers, adults and seniors, intuitive and highly sensitive people. It is a welcome therapy for people who have difficulty with the verbal because the symbols speak for themselves. Evolutionary Art Therapy® will enable these people to meet their creative dimension and vitalise their qualities.

Evolutionary Art Therapy can be practised in individual sessions, in pairs, in family, in groups, in workshops.

Evolutionary Art Therapy can be applied in many areas such as Therapeutic Education, in psychiatric hospitals, addiction centres, psychological centres, Rehabilitation and Care centres, humanitarian work, child care and education, artistic activities and as spiritual and/or personal development.

Here is a more detailed description:
Evolutionary Art Therapy accompanies the adult step by step in his or her encounter with the highest aspects of himself or herself; from the assessment of his/her competence to the existential search. It enables the person to fully welcome himself or herself, to recognise and love himself or herself, to integrate his or her femininity or masculinity, to recognise his or her personality; to develop self-confidence, to realise projects and achievements.
This process clarifies thinking, vitalises qualities and courage and stimulates the creative imagination.

Colouring, cutting, transforming, gluing, playing, gives children the opportunity to express themselves in a way other than through words. The Evolutionary Art Therapy enables them to express hidden emotions and gives adults the means to enter into a dialogue with them.

Whether in a group or individually, teenagers express their feelings, their moods, their creativity, their search for identity…
The art therapy workshops are privileged moments to tackle social issues: violence, the relationship between girls and boys, friendship, love, sense of values, etc…. They also promote a deeper dialogue with adults… The symbolic reading of the drawings opens young people up to their potential, their joy of growing up, their self-confidence and confidence for the future.

Nowadays, families are often disoriented. Parents and educators need to come up with new references and pedagogies, a new way to guide children and young people. Sessions within a family, with brothers, sisters and parents can be very healing on a family relationship level.

Many evolutionary art therapists work in Residences to guide the elderly in revitalising their creativity, improving the relational quality within the structure, expressing their emotions, forgiveness, and letting go of the mourning process.

Humanist psychologists and philosophers

These philosophers, psychologists, artists and spiritualists are the references of Evolutionary Art Therapy. They have discovered that man does not only consist of a lower consciousness but also of a higher one. It is in this higher consciousness that man’s potential and wonderful qualities vibrate. They have also shown the reality of the Self or the Soul where it is very important that the ego (the personality) of the human being lives in harmony with the soul. After all, the soul is the vehicle of the ego. They confirmed the importance of Beauty, Consciousness and Love and worked for the common good of mankind.

Carl Gustav Jung

Jung discovered the power and expanse of the collective unconscious with its many archetypes by exploring the deepest layers of the unconscious. Individuation is a concept from Jungian psychoanalysis. According to Jung it is about the process by which a person’s consciousness becomes individualised and differentiated from other persons. In other words: individuation is a growth process, becoming mature, in which a person becomes aware of his uniqueness with regards to other people.

Roberto Assagioli

Roberto Assagioli presents a new form of psychology that focuses on the sublime of the human being and on the presence in the psyche of a higher consciousness. In his conceptualisation of psychology he united Eastern meditative thinking with Western psychology.

Abraham Maslow

Abraham Maslow is a forerunner within psychology who focused on the development of the qualities and the sublime within man. He is known for his pyramid ‘the Hierarchy of Needs’ through which man can fully realise himself.

Eric Fromm

Eric Fromm, this humanist philosopher advocated the values of love as the only alternative to the destruction of mankind. Fromm spoke with his heart, with his faith, and proposed to people to question “the society of having” in order to engage in the path of “being”. The belief in the possibility of love as a social phenomenon, and not as an exceptional individual phenomenon, is a rational belief based on the intuition of man’s true nature.

Then there are the spiritualistic and esoteric philosophers such as Alice Bailey, Annie Besant and Blavatsky.