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於治療小組中，參與者的投入感及動力有時會較低，對表現自己感到緊張，這可能與他們一些不愉快的經驗或文化背景影響。例如，我們不太希望在一群人中表現突出，有些人會說：「我不懂藝術」、「我不懂跳舞」、或：「我不夠創意」！他們感到藝術是不安感的一個來源，於創作時，有一些說不出的重擔 (McNiff, 1986, 2011)。
當參與者懷疑自己的藝術天份時,正是表達藝術治療師的挑戰時刻。治療師要為參與者營造一個安全的環境, 及讓他們面對轉變與理解問題時, 能欣賞藝術的表達。那些抗拒、沉悶、害怕、缺乏操控的感覺, 可以理解為, 深入了解事情的契機, 及耐力的測試 (McNiff, 1988)。 這正是一個機會，讓參加者學習自我接納及關懷。
可是,一個比較「靜」的組員在小組中的得益, 可能會高於一個較「活躍」的組員。治療師要以十分高的敏感度, 面對個人及小組整體的需要, 使所有成員获得最佳的治療效果 (Yablonsky, 2015)。
During group therapy, there are times participants have low involvement and are nervous about their performance. It may be attributed to the unpleasant art experience or cultural background. For example, we may not want to stand out in a group. Some people say that ‘I don’t know art’, ‘I can’t dance’ or ‘I’m not creative’. They may see arts as a source of insecurity, and have unspoken burden during art making (McNiff, 1986, 2011).
When participants doubt their innate abilities in arts creation, it is a challenge for expressive arts therapists. Therapists need to facilitate a safe environment, and let participants appreciate artistic expression for change and understanding. The resistance, boredom, panic and rigid control could be regarded as an entrance for deeper insights; and a test of endurance (McNiff, 1988). This art experience provides an opportunity for self-acceptance and compassion too.
However, it is not common that a ‘quiet member’ in a group benefits even more than an ‘active member’, because a quiet member can take time to observe the actions of others. Therapists must be very sensitive to the need of individuals, the group dynamic, in order to maximize the therapeutic effects for all members in a group (Yablonsky, 1957).
McNiff, S. (1986). A dialogue with James Hillman. Art Therapy, Nov, 99-110.
McNiff, S. (1988). The shaman within. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 15, 285-291.
McNiff, S. (2011). Artistic expression as primary modes of inquiry. British Journal of Guidannce & Counselling. 39, 5, 385-396.
Yablonsky, L. (1957). Group psychotherapy and psychodrama for drug addicts. The New York Physician. 5, 1, 63-70.