Reflections on art and recovery…


‘I have got this material, which could be clay or could be mosaic tiles, that I can manipulate and form as I like and change… this gives me some hope that hopefully I can do that in my life too…if I can change the artistic medium, if I can change the clay, if I can form it the way I like, perhaps there’s a possibility of change to do with my mental health…I can change, my illness can change… There is this kind of link and symbolism that is very important…because doing art opens up this possibility of change which is vital for instilling hope and initiating recovery…’ (Reflexive notes from a therapy session, 2010)


Ceramic and mosaic work, START (Arts mental health project) in Manchester, 2009-2011



  • Tom Wengraf ,

    I like your artwork as manifesting itself in the blog so far. I feel bad that I don’t have anything useful to say about your experiences of fits and periods of suicidal despair except to say that it feels good that you are understanding them as moments in a pattern, and that trying to see them as powerful but potentially transient moments, and to understand why they happen, what makes them better and what makes them worse, helps you acknowledge them but not completely identify with them. I’m currently struggling with very difficult emotions (though nowhere near the scale that you are), and for me reading the Sufi works of Idries Shah (e.g. The Dermis Probe) and some of the science-fiction of Doris Lessing (e.g. Shikasta) has a calming influence on my propensity to over-invest in my negative emotions. It doesn’t mean they’d be any use for you, though!

    It was good to see you (although very fleetingly) the other day.

    Warm best wishes. Tom.

    • Dina ,

      Hi, Tom
      thank you for your thoughts and for sharing with me.
      good to see you too
      warm wishes