What’s in a name?
We have a lot of big ideas for Vlinder Expressive Arts Therapy and I will be sharing these with you as we go. Right now I wanted to talk about our business name which is quite a mouthful and may need a little explanation…
Art Therapy is a transpersonal form of therapy. In simple terms, it means we meet people where they are at, spiritually, intellectually, culturally, ethnically, emotionally and socially. We also celebrate diversity and embrace it. So, I wanted to bring a bit of my own culture to the business.
When I was younger a friend of mine said… “Why do you always say your father is Dutch?….don’t you know that most people think that the Dutch are arrogant, stingy and opinionated?”
This was quite a shock to me, as my own experience of my Dutch heritage is that my clan are open minded, (think euthanasia and cannabis) innovative (think reclaiming the sea), economic (they hate waste), hard working,(egalitarian qualities based on study and respect, not family ties or old money), adventurous (think 16th century traders) and fun-loving (from mardi gras to tulip festivals).
My family are all of these things and more and each time I have visited Holland or had relatives visit, this has been my experience. Talk about a different world view!
The thing is, often when you experience the world a certain way, that’s the way everything is seen, through a filter. Imagine if you could identify the filters that you have, that you use to interpret the world. Some may be useful, may have even saved your life, but what about the ones that prevent you from seeing the world in a way where peace, joy, beauty and connection are everywhere?
So it is with pride that I have put a little of my Dutch background into my business, with the word “Vlinder”
A few curious facts:
Vlinder is the word for “butterfly” in Dutch language.
The “butterfly effect” has been coined to describe chaos theory, where to resonate at a higher awareness, natural cycles or systems need to break down or transform to enable new life.
In the Terry Pratchett’s novel “Interesting Times”, he created the quantum weather butterfly who has the ability to manipulate weather patterns. Small changes affecting the biggest change.
In art therapy, this means to explore your view or interpretation of the creative experience and find and notice the small things that will make a big difference to explore the intention of the session.
I like the metaphor of the “butterfly effect”. In Art Therapy we draw on the valuable ability to allow metaphor to speak to us through our subconscious.
The ink blot ‘butterfly’ in our logo is a tribute to earliest psychologists who used ink blots known as the “Rorschach test” by Fred Binet in the 1890’s, to analyse the subconscious or perceived tendencies of his clients and later evolved into the visual variation of the treatment that Freud established in the 1930’s. Art therapy has certainly evolved since, in that the meaning is seen by the client, not the therapist.
Originally in the 1857’s ink blots known as Klecksographs were used to illustrate poetry by Justinus KernerInk. As his eyesight failed and he used to spill ink onto his papers, rather than throwing them away, transformed them into illustrations for his poetry.
Then there is the magic of transformation as a butterfly is born from a soft grub only pausing a while in a cocoon where this amazing miracle occurs.
So that my dear reader is the meaning and essence of the Vlinder logo and ethos. I hope you enjoyed reading a bit of background and if you have any questions or comments just post them below and I am happy to answer them.