Healing the Self Through Self-Portraits -- A Drawing Workshop
Amy Stein, MFA
Spring 2008 - Volume 12 Number 2
Eight portraits line the office wall of Jon, a psychologist and veteran of the Vietnam War who counsels the broken and broken-hearted soldiers in their attempts to return to "normal lives." Jon describes the treacherous re-entry process through those portraits on his wall--self-portraits, most showing wounds, scars, and strength (Figure 1). Over the last eight years, Jon has attended each of my "Healing the Self through Self-Portraits" workshops in Santa Fe, NM. I wondered why he chose to repeat that process year after year, and why he chose to hang each self-portrait in his office, side-by-side, year by year. Through this public display, Jon is making a powerful statement. At a time when he was losing touch with his own voice and soul, he said he needed his portraits to affirm and connect to his own reality.