Powerful Photos Depict Veterans Who Use Art Therapy To Heal

A quote from Carl Jung on the subject of "masks":

The persona, for Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, was the social face the individual presented to the world—"a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual".

One wonders what Jung would have thought about the masks created by these veterans (see link below) as their intent in creating them was to reveal, rather than to conceal, aspects of their true nature as individuals.

Powerful Photos Depict Veterans Who Use Art Therapy To Heal

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Comment by William Angel on January 25, 2015 at 3:15am

Carl Jung in his essay After the Catastrophe (1945) discusses the situation of the Germans and the Nazi phenomenon.
A couple of quotes from his essay could be relevant both to the soldier's artistic work documented in the article in the National Geographic and to some of the issues that you raised in your comment:

"...the tide that rose in the unconscious after the first World War was reflected in individual dreams [of my German patients], in the form of... mythological symbols which expressed primitivity, violence, cruelty: in short, all the powers of darkness."

"I was able to... observe how the uprush of dark forces deployed itself in the individual test-tube. I could watch these forces as they broke through the individual's moral and intellectual self-control, and as they flooded his conscious world."

Comment by Bonnie Bright on January 24, 2015 at 2:52pm

William: This is such an amazing project! Thank you so much for posting. (I've also taken the liberty of posting one of the photos from the article here so others can see it.) The images are so compelling.

I really appreciate your perspective on how these masks are made to reveal instead of conceal. I know many members of the Alliance, and maybe art therapists in particular, are working on initiatives like this and I'm grateful to see this kind of work in the world. I think t's a great example of how depth psychological techniques can be integrated into healing opportunities in the more mainstream. Surely Jung would have approved!...?


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