Fourth Age Support Group by Means of Arts during the Corona Pandemic

Fourth Age Support Group by Means of Arts during the Corona Pandemic

Frequently, the childish and playful atmosphere created in the room as a result of the contact with the art material, enables an internal connection to creativity and spontaneity and constitutes a platform for creating powerful symbolic images. For example, powerful images containing complex life stories were created during the session in which we worked with colored plasticine. The simplicity of working with this material was in contrast to the depth of the process and the significance stemming from it, as well as the pain contained in the symbolic image. The playful and “childish” material facilitated an experience of different aspects of reality, where alongside death is also life, and together with the deep pain is also creativity and the joy of life, and seemingly the image that was created allowed the participants to observe and gain a new perspective (Megides, 2019).

Another example of combining art in the session is the encounter with masks. As a result of the difficult feelings the participants raised in the dialogue, feelings of frustration and helplessness due to the isolation that was forced upon their age group, we suggested to take the medical masks and create anything they would like from them. The creativity with the medical masks which represents the spirit of the period and its implications allowed the participants to express their frustration and anger in a creative and subliminal way and perhaps even to “pay back”.  At the end of the work we held a mask party with music, dancing and lots of humor and laughter. Employing humor during times like this, constitutes another source for coping, where in times of threats the ability to laugh allows one to achieve a certain sense of control. That is, when it is impossible to change reality humor changes its reflection in our psyche. The combination of thought and imagination assists in reformulation of the problem, in emotional distancing from the situation and in neutralizing the sting of a painful reality (Lahad & Ayalon, 1995). The photo below was taken at the end of the session. The session was very intense, meaningful and though not everyone was present it continued to resonate in the group for a very long time.


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About the Author

Daniella Bassis and Orna MegidesDaniella Bassis (PsyD), Expressive Arts Therapist and a Group Facilitator. Works with different groups and populations, in USA and in Israel, emphasizing on multimodal integration of the arts.Orna Megides (PsyD), Art Therapist, Psychotherapy and Group Facilitator. Teaches at the School of Art Therapy, Haifa University and the Department of Counseling and Human Development, Haifa University and owns a Private Clinic.

View all posts by Daniella Bassis and Orna Megides

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