In the terms of learning how group therapy works in the field of art therapy, it is understood that personalities vary through the individuals in the group you are working with. Getting to know your group and building a relationship with the individuals is one of the main priorities in group therapy. The Johari Window is a model to guide the art therapist to notice different aspects of their individuals and can also help the individuals in realizing areas of themselves that need more assistance than others.
The Johari Window consists of four main “Selfs” or “Areas.” They are labeled Public Self/Open Area, Blind Spots/Blind Area, Hidden Self/Hidden Area, and Unconscious Self/Unknown Area. Each self is different in which what they keep to themselves and reveal to the world. Using the Johari Window is promoting self-awareness and guiding the group be aware of themselves and parts who they are.
- Public Self/Open Area – area of the indvidual that is known to themself and others around them. For example, a teenage boy who is aware of his anger problems and knows that others are aware of this too.
- Blind Spots/Blind Area – a part of the individual’s personality that others only see but the individual does not notice. For example, a teacher who thinks they present a happy persona, but students see that he/she gives off a mean or scary vibe. The teacher has no idea that she presents a mean persona, but her students do.
- Hidden Self/Hidden Area – only the individual knows about this aspect, they do not reveal it to others. For example, a depressed teen who sulks and cries when she is by herself in her bedroom because she does not want to present her feelings in front of others.
- Unconscious Self/Unknown Area – this is a part of the individual that absolutely no one knows about or notices. For example, an individual uses an unhealthy coping mechanism without noticing that it is unhealthy and others do not realize that is unhealthy as well.
I never heard of this model beforehand and found it to be extremely helpful. The Johari Window can not only be used when working with groups, but even in self evaluating. This model is one of the few things that can be used for yourself and for clients as well in art therapy. Versatile models like these are so helpful and really eye-opening.
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