Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Moon’

Reflections on Art Therapy, Trauma, & Group Work

November 10, 2014

This week I am looking forward to speaking to Group Process students in Ursuline College’s Art Therapy and Counseling program about facilitating trauma focused art therapy groups.  As I work on preparing the content I’ll be sharing about my work, I am inspired to share what I have come to love about doing groups- especially as an art therapist and trauma consultant, the benefits, and how this format is valuable when doing trauma informed work.

Reflections on Art Therapy, Trauma, and Group Work | creativity in motion

Group Work Loves:

  • I definitely admit that group work has its challenges and complexities associated with meeting each member’s needs and creating a safe, cohesive, & therapeutic space for expression of emotions, thoughts, & experiences. However, groups are a really amazing setting for individual members who are managing a common experience related to trauma or a loss to come together in support of one another and provide validation they are not alone. The support that peers provide can be so nurturing and empowering related to coping, acceptance, and a sense of belonging.
  • Creating art together, sharing materials, the creative space, and created art expressions further strengthens opportunities to explore interpersonal skills, boundaries, and nurture the importance of relational enrichment.
  • My favorite part of group (other than the art-making!) is to introduce (and practice!) techniques related to supporting regulation and relaxation through deep breathing, focusing, guided imagery, movement, and more.  When I first introduce this to new members it is sometimes met with anxious laughter or hesitation, but often it’s something that pretty much everyone ends up really enjoying.  It’s awesome when that shift from a heightened state of arousal starts to give way to being in a calmer and safer moment.  I love the times where I can witness everyone breathing in unison while we take 10 minutes to calm our minds and bodies before engaging in the group’s art directive.
  • Most of the trauma focused groups that I offer to youth or adults have a structure of predictability and consistency built into its format.  This helps with decreasing feelings of anxiety and empowers the group member with a general awareness about what to expect.

If you are interested in exploring more about group work with traumatized children and adolescents, my online continuing education course (6 CEUs!) with the National Institute for Trauma and Loss (TLC) continues to accept ongoing enrollment and introduces participants to themes, sensory based activities, therapeutic books, games, and creative interventions to implement in the group setting.

Group Strategies & Interventions with Traumatized Children and Adolescents

This month I am excited to share that I also joined TLC’s amazing blogging team as a guest contributor and kindly invite you to check out my first post, “The Value of Art Expression in Trauma-Informed Work” and stay tuned for more posts in 2015! 🙂


Related Posts & Resources:

Children’s Story Books for Trauma Informed Work & Art Making

Creating Hope: NE Ohio Human Trafficking Symposium

Group Art Therapy Interventions and Strategies: Children and Domestic Violence


Creating Meaning, Soul and Art

July 5, 2009
I have started working on a new mini-altered book with the theme Art & Soul for BATA’s 2009 Symposium Silent Art Auction in September.  Below are pics of the pages being worked on:
Art and Soul Altered Book

Art and Soul Altered Book

Art Washes Away the Dust.....

Art Washes Away the Dust.....

The Soul Cannot Think Without a Picture...

The Soul Cannot Think Without a Picture...

Every Artist Dips His Brush into His Own Soul...

Every Artist Dips His Brush into His Own Soul...

While working on these pages, I started to think about the importance of art and the soul’s connection to sustain energy and life, as well as what contributes to soul loss.  For me; connection, creation, and providing service to others are some things that keep my soul growing, thriving, and living.  These actions bring me back to what has real meaning in my life.  Although this is not always easy. There are plenty of obstacles, stresses, and unknowns to face everyday.  Making choices that validate my authentic self and support meaning in my life are important, but sometimes difficult.  Soul loss triggers for me include when spirit, passion, intention, and connection have been threatened, damaged, or burdened with inclusiveness, control, disillusionment, and apathy. 
Art therapist and one of BATA’s Symposium keynotes, Bruce Moon dedicated one of his books, Art And Soul: Reflections On An Artistic Psychology, to restoring the soul, the idea of soul loss, and how to live soulfully with a focus on how art-making can be part of this process.  At the beginning of the book, Moon asks several questions:
“There are choices to be made.  Should we withdraw into ourselves out of anxiety and fear?  Scared by the loss of our familiar ways of being in the world, will we become immobilized, thinking only of ourselves?  Will we choose to live life in the shallow regions? Or will we take hold of the opportunities before us to increase our sensitivity, heighten our awareness, and live responsibly in the face of overwhelming change?  Will we seek restoration of the soul?”


Soul restoration for me includes art-making and reaching out through connection to discover the answers to many of these questions.  Creating art helps me find true meaning for what I am seeking, hiding from, need, or want to communicate and honor.  When in doubt, I create art to better understand myself, where I am going, where I have been, and what is going on.  Art helps feed my soul and keep me safe in times of uncertainty, confusion, and change, as well as a way to show my support, gratitude, appreciation, and admiration.
How do you use creativity to feed your soul and create meaning in your life?  

Art and Soul

June 17, 2009
Art & Soul- 2009 Buckeye Art Therapy Association Symposium

Art and Soul- 2009 Buckeye Art Therapy Association Symposium

I am excited to announce that  program offerings are now available and registration open for The Buckeye Art Therapy Association’s 28th Annual Symposium – ART & SOUL.  BATA’s Symposium will be held September 11 and 12, 2009 in the Columbus, OH area at the Embassy Suites Dublin.  Keynote speakers include Bruce L. Moon, Ph.D., ATR-BC and Catherine Moon, MA, ATR-BC  who are nationally recognized art therapists, authors, and educators in the art therapy field.  Their Friday night keynote address will be In the Thick of Things: Considering the Material and Immaterial Essence of Art Therapy and they will be providing a workshop on Performing Art Therapy’s Essence Saturday morning. Read more about these offerings and Bruce and Cathy here. 

The BATA Symposium will also include many other presentations, workshops, and forums about art therapy throughout the two days. Topics range from medical art therapy, art therapy and social media, supervision, ethics, as well as many opportunities to make lots of art in the workshops being offered. There will also be an open forum and dialogue with BATA founder and AATA co-founder Don Jones. For more information and descriptions about what is being offered, check out the program schedule here

This gathering in September is not to be missed!  Register today! If you are interested in learning more, visit BATA’s Symposium website at: I hope to see you there!

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