Cseri, Sibylle

When the boat doesn´t dare to set sail

Sibylle Cseri

As Freud said, dreams are the royal road to the unconscious: a place to travel to, where one may let go of constructed mechanisms and where deeper aspects of the self offer themselves to become unlocked. What could be a more wondrous way to approach such a journey than to allow oneself to enter a creative process where anything can become possible?  It is this journey that lies at the very heart of our art therapy practice, an invitation to take a leap into the realms of what is not yet discovered through the unique language of art.

But what happens when the creative path towards this discovery becomes blocked and when fear of losing control, anxiety over the unexpected, and a fragile sense of trust in the therapeutic relationship hinders the creative process unfolding in fruitful ways within therapy?

This paper presentation proposes to take a look at this challenge in our practice as a means towards understanding the struggle of moving from certainty, the visible, the predictable, the tangible, the known truth and reality to unknown territories, which I so often experienced in my art therapy practice when working with children with early childhood trauma. Having developed my art therapy practice in Spain specializing with internationally adopted children and foster care families, I will base this talk on this context and its particularities in relationships with the creative process. I aim to shed some light on this phenomenon in an art therapy practice that accompanies children with a very particular life story.


Sibylle Cseri B.F.A. UNM, USA; M.A. Art Psychotherapy, UB, Spain, has been a clinical art psychotherapist for the last 16 years, specializing in work with children and youth. Within this collective, she has specialized in the last years in working with children and families within post-adoption and foster care.  Sibylle has been lecturer and supervisor for over 10 years at various university art therapy master’s programs in Spain, as well as at the art therapy master’s program at the Kunstakademie Weissensee in Berlin, Germany. She is also a frequent guest lecturer at the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute in Canada.

Sibylle is co-founder and registered member of the Spanish Art Therapy Association (ATE), of the Spanish Federation of Art Therpists (FEAPA) and has also recently co-founded the European Federation of Art Therapists (EFAT) in May 2018.  


Recent Publications

Cseri, S., Vidal, A., Grau, E. (2017).  Tejiendo vínculos a través del arte (Weaving ties through art with adolescents / Art Therapy group work.)   Journal for Spanish Group Psychoanalysis.
Recent Presentations
2018: Key Note presentation on Supervision in Art Therapy at the Andalusian Art Therapy Conference, Granada
2016: Paper presentation at Federation for Christian Private Schools in Catalunya: Relational difficulties in psychological development and its impact in the school system.

2015: Paper presentation of art therapy work with adopted children and adolescents at clinical conference on the development of art therapy in Catalonia, Barcelona
2014: Paper presentation on working in art therapy with adopted children and adolescents at the Canadian Art Therapy Conference, Nelson, British Columbia, Canada