Person-Oriented Painting Therapy, also known as Accompanied Painting is a unique painting technique in which an individual is accompanied in the creation of a painting to achieve therapeutic goals. Much more than just the act of painting as a therapy, this technique focuses on multiple levels of process and interaction with the painting itself.
An important principle of Person-Oriented Painting Therapy is the ability for individuals to heal and grow through their own process. The paintings are a vehicle for which they can express thoughts and emotions that might not be possible with words.
Based on the assumption that the way in which the paintings are created reflect the way an individual goes about their life, this specific technique of painting therapy uses three levels: the image, the process, and the relationship - as a mirror of the subconscious.
In their role of therapeutic companion, the therapist also has the responsibility to assist with all art materials. When the painter connects to the materials and the moment, they are approaching the painting in an unbiased way, and therefore allowing the image to emerge organically from the first impulse.
As the painting develops, the painting therapist observes the mannerisms of the painter from an outside perspective, for example their body language or breathing pattern, which may give insight into deeper behavioural patterns.
The painter may feel spontaneous emotions or thoughts emerge as they work. With the relationship between painter and therapist as well as one’s own relationship to the painting, they work together to achieve positive impact for the painter on a holistic level.