Gaining understanding becomes an important component of this model as it offers insights into one’s current situation and opportunities for people to make links with their past and to introduce changes. Formal or informal reflection within given times in the sessions, and while one is engaged in a creative activity, can lead to a more conscious understanding of one’s situation. The presence of the art form is important to allow for a deeper understanding of the situation, while respectful feedback from others can refine one’s understanding further. As an example, in pair work, facilitators may encourage to ‘comment on the image/shape/experience but not to interpret’. This might be ‘I see a lot of red in your drawing’ or ‘I notice your moved in this way’, allowing the clients to make their own interpretations. Participants may also be encouraged to notice any ‘lightbulb moments’ of insight that seem most prominent during their deep processing work.
Examples – Becoming aware of emotions in the present moment, making links to the past, reflecting on own work through writing or drawing, receiving feedback, elucidating priorities and ways forward.