Elana Lakh

Emotional and Archetypal Suspects in Pictures Drawn During Covid-19 Lockdown in Israel

Covid 19 pandemic caught the whole world by surprise, and changed our lives in profound ways, urging physical, social and psychological challenges. Confined to homes, people were experiencing various emotions, while trying to cope with the new and unsettling situation. The extended duration of this pandemic and protracted period of not knowing as well as forced changes in our behavior and society has exposed many mental health challenges and a list of insidious effects on the everyday lives of people, many of which we are not yet aware of. Such challenges bare collective and archetypal aspects, which correspond to individual reaction, and can be seen in art. Through art, we see traces of this extraordinary time; of emotions, thoughts, hopes and fears. Art made during the time of lockdown embodies conscious and unconscious material that express personal and collective reactions to the pandemic and its implications.

This presentation will show the findings of a study conducted during the first Covid-19 lockdown in Israel. The study looked at images made spontaneously by 97 participants (mostly women), which were reflected upon and examined for themes.

Emotional aspects are evident throughout the pictures as is illuminated by the artists words of explanation, style of making art and titles given. The pictures reveal themes of hope and despair, isolation and human connection, nature, fantasy, chaos and a search for order. The end of humanity as the devouring aspect of the great mother archetype, as well as its nourishing aspect, were also recurring motifs. Our presentation will focus on the emotional aspects revealed in the paintings and discuss the archetypal implications of the themes that appeared in the pictures.


Elana Lakh, PhD, is a supervising art therapist and a Jungian analyst. She is a senior lecturer of art therapy in the school of society and the arts in Ono academic college and in the school pf Jungian psychotherapy in Bar-Ilan University. She conducts a private practice in Jerusalem specializing in treatment of sexual abuse survivors. She is a member of the Israeli institute for Jungian Psychology in honor of Erich Neumann, and a teacher in the training program. She studies creation mythologies and her research interests include archetypal aspects of art made in therapy. The author of "The origins of evil in the human psyche: Jungian reading of creation myths" (2017, in Hebrew).

Recent Publications

  • Lakh, E., Shamri-Zeevi, L. & Kalmanowitz, D. (2021). Art in the time of corona: A thematic analysis. The Arts in Psychotherapy 75(3):101824.
  • Lakh, E. & Medzini, S. (2021) Theorizing mushiness from therapeutic practice to teaching: Two perspectives on using liquid and slimy materials in art therapy. In: Yaguri, T. and Merari, D. (Editors). Art in action: Teaching, training, and research in art therapy. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.


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