Art directive for women’s empowerment and career decision making

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In my art directive, I want clients to be more conscious of how they see themselves. Plus how a person forms their identity makes an effect on their career decision making.

I went with hands because it’s “hands on” and they name adjectives that describes how they see them. At the same time, a client can see their skills and strengths as well. For me, I started with my right hand and named all of roles that make me, me – Curious Scholar, Empathic Intuitive Future Therapist, Creative Artist, Strong Woman, and Proud Veteran. I don’t identify with any appearance words like “beautiful”. Also, from a multicultural perspective, I am a white woman and I do see my white privilege. I am lucky and privileged that I don’t have to name myself as a white woman; and that I can name all other roles of me. For people who are from other cultures or who recognize themselves within an intersectional ethnicity, then their culture is more important to their identity.

On the left hand, I wrote my 5 strengths from the High 5 test. The rest of the hand has my top 10 from the VIA character strengths test. So a few edits that I did, I would have the client add the phrase “I am…” before each hand. It felt necessary. Plus the client will need to take at least 1 of the strengths test for the left hand part. After I colored the right hand with the colors I chose for those words, then I aesthetically used the same colors for the same fingers and parts of the hand. A client is not required to do this mirroring coloring that I did. However, it does better show how colors match, and so does how one’s strengths also mirror the adjectives and roles of how someone sees themselves.

There are a couple different approaches and decision making models at play here. For starters, women’s empowerment and feminism approach says women tend to feel better about what they can do and more empowered with affirmations. Women need to be reminded of the roles they serve. Plus I would remind my clients to think of descriptions that are not appearance based (as previously mentioned, women continue get reminded they are beautiful, but are not told as much about other strengths). The other approach I want to mention is narrative therapy that strongly encourages clients to telk their own narrative; their own story. (Gysbers at al, 2014)

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