Six of us gathered together on 2nd January, for a time of thanksgiving and renewal: Lynette, Gerry, Yiat Teng, Peng Peng, Song Lee and I – current fellows of The Holding Space. I have been with THS since 2009. When I returned from the US as a certified art therapist. Lynette, my Social Work coursemate back in 1974,  welcomed me to The Holding Space. Here I set up my newly minted practice as an art therapist. I got to know Gerry and Yiat Teng, and many others who have passed through this Space.

On this first gathering of the year for the group, and coincidently also our last at the current premises, Gerry led us through a time of imaginative reflection, journaling and free association. This is a “public” version of my musings that day:

The Holding Space
is more than a place.

We are the Holding Space and it is relational in nature.
We hold one another on a journey to hold others,
with the skills and practice modalities that we have.
We invite and offer a visual feast of art materials, hundreds of symbols on the shelves.
Sand trays, water, and boxes of tissue – in every room.
We hold one another by listening to the one presenting a case,
sharing self-doubt, puzzling over clues and imprints left by clients,
wondering if the sessions are going anywhere?
We see with different eyes, listen with different hearts and minds,
sharing compassion, and the collective wisdom of our years
gathered through clinical practice and lived experience.
We feel held and strengthened to carry on in humility and awe.

The Holding Space
is more than a place.
The work reflects our lives and aspirations (or lack of!)
We say in truth as much as we dare, that:
“We like to work, but not too much;
We need to earn, but just enough;
We care, but just so much!”
We do make self-care and play an affirmation and priority,
Just so we may continue to be that Holding Space.

The Holding Space
is more than a place.
It has been for us a journey of
Holding and Being Held.
We have found great joy and deep meaning
in the Jungian psychology-based retreats held over 7 years,
with Eunice Stagg, in Aubyn House, Fraser’s Hill,
and more recently, at the Montford Retreat Centre.
We have journeyed through the Seasons of Life, the Elements,
found Treasures in Darkness, and Come Home
to where we need to be.

The Holding Space is now co-located with TheraClay Studio.

We look forward to new synergy and closer collaboration.
Here, we celebrate all the elements in Jungian psychology:

Here, may we find the Life-force for another season, another adventure!

Joyce SY Tan

January 16, 2023

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