Terry Fractal 17

Terry Fractal 17 (Fabric Collage on Linen, 30’’ x 37’’) 2017

I was deeply inspired by a lecture given by Terry Marks-Tarlow at Goddard College in the Winter of 2017.  Thoughts and ideas in my consciousness began to spiral out, making new connections and envisioning the world of therapy in a way I had never experienced it before.  I conceived of an image of Terry, open and kind, with a willingness to share her wisdom in all of its dimensional forms.  Since hearing Terry speak and reading her work, I have started to recognize fractals everywhere – both internally, in my own consciousness, and externally, in the world and space surrounding me.  I see fractals in relationships, in history, in karmic law, in spirituality, in literature, in science, in nature, in the act of play, and on and on.  Layering cotton fabrics on linen, many of which I have hand dyed, and using a combination of cotton, silk, and metallic threads, I have created a textile depiction of the whirlwind of connection that Terry inspired in me, and a representation of the magic these connections can inspire in each of us through inner exploration and therapeutic attunement.

This is an art piece I made in my graduate expressive arts counseling program.  It was inspired by a lecture given at the Spring 2017 residency by Terry Marks Tarlow on clinical intuition, fractals, and complexity in therapy.  After creating this piece, I knew I wanted to give it to Terry after I presented it at residency.  Right around that time, Terry was curating an art show, Mirrors of the Mind 6, by the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Association.  The theme of the show was “Psychotherapist as Artist”.  I decided to enter my piece in the show, and to my surprise, the jury accepted it!  Unfortunately, I was unable to go to LA for the opening, but I’m so honored my piece was shown!  .


Creativity is an important way that I transmute my internal feelings and bring them forth into the tangible world. Through art, I am able to express thoughts and experiences that exist outside of words, and share parts of myself that would otherwise remain unseen.  I often choose to work with textiles, combining various hand dye techniques with hand and machine embroidery and appliqué.  Creating art is an indispensible part of my self-care ritual.  In my internship work, I have found the use of expressive arts to beautifully compliment more traditional modes of therapy, and provide individuals with opportunities to similarly express themselves outside of verbal language.  The act of creation is a ritual in and of itself, ritual being a vital aspect of the human experience and an invaluable way that we derive meaning from our lived experience. 

By Robyn Heydari

Terry Fractal 17

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