Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

Ecopsychology, Self Care, and Creative Practice

February 25, 2018

Last week was the opening of Tending the Flames: Burnout and Resilience in Helping Professions exhibit, sponsored by Tri-C Gallery East, Tri-C’s Creative Arts and Art Therapy Program, Ursuline College’s Counseling and Art Therapy Department, and the Buckeye Art Therapy Association. The theme of this year’s exhibit is dedicated to how caregivers and helpers use art and the creative process to manage the stress and experiences related to this role, as well as nurture and strengthen resilience.

Part of the exhibit’s opening included a community lecture by local environmental philosopher and Lake Erie Institute Director Dr. Elizabeth Meacham, who spoke to attendees about the role of nature and ecopsychology in helping restore wellbeing, health, and recover from challenging circumstances or pressures associated with taking care of others. Dr. Meacham provided simple strategies to invite a daily nature practice in our lives and work, such as but not limited to:

  • Remembering to take outdoor breaks – go for a walk, visit your favorite nature spot;
  • Find a favorite tree in your environment that you can visit daily and feel, interact with;
  • If you are unable to get outside, have nature objects such as rocks and leaves indoors- pause and take in their sensory based qualities through touch and smell;
  • Tune into and engage your senses through imagery, breath, sound, and smell

If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Meacham’s teachings, check out these resources:

If you are interested in learn more about the role of ecopsychology in art therapy and burnout, check out this True Calling podcast, Art Therapy, Ecopsychology, & Curing Chronic Burnout with Registered Art Therapist Lanie Smith or her post, Nature as a Portal to Self: How Eco Art Therapy Can Help You Reconnect and Heal.

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For this exhibit, my supervision group created a mandala inspired by this year’s theme, working on what we titled a “Self Care Compass”.  Our image included a contribution from each of us about what helps guide our work and self care as art therapists.  Themes of interacting with nature, practicing mindfulness, flexibility, and grounding ourselves in hope and growth were explored in our collective dialogue and expressed in the art we created together.  Self care is an important, ongoing discussion in supervision, whether it is activating ways to take better care of ourselves, balance our daily lives and relationships with our work responsibilities and commitments, stay present and connected, or cultivate compassion satisfaction instead of compassion fatigue.

Self care compass- oil pastels, paint sticks, markers on craft paper | Leah, Skyla, Jessi, Lacey, Gretchen, 2018

My 2013 art journal about self care as an art therapist and trauma practitioner was also on display at the exhibit, focusing on themes related to gratitude, affirmation, strengths, and mindfulness in connection to facilitating trauma informed care. It was so inspiring to see all the works of art and creative expressions that filled the gallery in the spirit of the exhibit’s focus.

Self care through creative practice project | gretchen miller, 2013

If you are in the area and interested in checking out the exhibit, it is on display until March 22 and located on the Eastern Campus of Tri-C in Highland Hills, Ohio. Gallery East is in room 135 of the Education Center and open daily. Call 1-216-987-2475 for more information.

Related Links

Self-Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Affirmation

Creative Action Link Round Up: Self-Care, Responsibility, Community

Exploring Covenant Based Caregiving with a Creative Twist

Journey to Resilience: Takeaways & Creative Offerings

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A Happy New Year Gift: Empowering Your Creative Values & Strengths

December 30, 2017

To celebrate the New Year, I am re-sharing one of my free and favorite e-workshops from a couple of years ago!

CreativeCovenants2017

Creative Covenants

How would you define your creative covenants?  Your creative covenants are values that you believe are core to the way you create, practice, and live as a creative and artful being.  When you know your own creative values, you can activate them to empower your creative life.  In this e-workshop, you are invited to create an inspiring book made from a series of permission tags that honor these promises to our creative self and practice.  Content in this workshop will also be nurtured through a series of prompts exploring what celebrates, challenges, and empowers the creative goodness in each of us!What are your Creative Covenants? | creativity in motion

What are your Creative Covenants? | creativity in motion

This free workshop download includes a PDF & video offering and is available here:

Add to Cart

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An oldie, but goodie New Year’s creative practice I’ve enjoyed for almost 10 years now:

Ready for Revo’lution Art Journaling

revolutioncollage.jpg

Check out these freebie downloads below from archived Creativity in Motion posts that are still available here:

Creative Goodness with Gluebooks eBook

The Art of Emotional Resilience

Art Journaling’s Visual Voice in Trauma Intervention

Paper House Making with Youth Exposed to Domestic Violence

Best wishes for a great 2018!

 

2017 Creative Inspiration in Art Therapy, Advocacy, and the Arts

December 26, 2017

In this post I want to offer some of the silver linings I’ve tweeted or retweeted this year, with attention to the arts, creativity, advocacy, and art therapy.  There have been several positive moments, messages, and accomplishments that I have found hopeful and encouraging… some light among the events and challenges 2017 has seen.

  • The American Art Therapy Association recently published this 2017 review of art therapy achievements in public awareness, advocacy, organizational statements, campaigns, and professional development seen this year on state and federal levels and within the Association;
  • This early 2017 article Creative Collaboration is What Humans Do Best speaks to the power of creativity and imagination to help us proactively and collectively work together on the challenges we experience. This piece encourages us to use our interconnectedness for constructively solving problems and activate successful solutions.  These empowering words were a great read and reminder to help counteract experiences of division and sense of powerlessness or helplessness we may face;
  • This summer I blogged about the US Department of Arts and Culture’s Guide to Artistic Response to Natural Disasters and Social Emergencies as a creative action resource. Also worth bringing attention to are other opportunities on the USDAC site available for art citizens who want to make a social impact with their creative expression.  The next event happening is the People’s State of the Union, an annual civic ritual and participatory art project if you are interested in getting involved!
  • Throughout this year, the Americans for the Arts has blogged on many current topics impacting the arts, artists, and communities, as well as ways for arts advocates to get involved in, support, and how to reach out policy makers and legislators about matters involving social change, leadership, community engagement, arts business, and more. A really valuable presentation I attended at the 2017 American Art Therapy Association conference in November was a legislative advocacy and lobbying information session led by Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs at Americans for the Arts Jay Dick. This session presented positive ways art therapists can leverage legislator relationships to meet licensure and advocacy goals;

  • Also in November the Americans for the Arts reported that $150 million has been proposed for National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for Humanities funding in 2018.  This news was a huge win for arts advocacy efforts, as it was recommended by the current administration that funding for these vital government programs be completely eliminated. These monies will also continue to fund NEA’s Creative Forces, a military healing arts network, which includes art therapy services for veterans and service members;
  • Art Therapist Lani Gerity’s 2017 blog posts (#157-#171) Out of A Thousand Ways to Have a Happy Artist’s Life series has also highlighted much needed reminders about how the arts, creativity, and imagination can be used to help us be more resilient, kinder, and peaceful when facing dark and unsettling times.

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I wish you a 2018 full of artful abundance and creative spirit…. Happy New Year to you and yours!

Gratitude Round-Up: Creativity, Resilience, & Well-being

November 23, 2017

I thought today would be a nice time to re-share some of my favorite archived blog posts about gratitude, creativity, resilience, and well-being. I enjoyed re-visiting these and I hope you will enjoy this round-up too:

These posts continue to guide me about the importance of having a gratitude practice and the role of creativity in helping support and express what we are thankful for– especially in times of uncertainty, stress, or conflict. Not just today or when times are tough, but beneficial for our well-being everyday.  A wonderful opportunity for us to activate daily creative practices with an attention to gratitude.  🙂

Creative Action Link Round Up: Self-Care, Responsibility, Community

August 20, 2017

 Social media is a powerful tool for self expression and engagement of all kinds…giving a voice for many and often a way to cast attention, influence, and respond to causes, values, and efforts we hold dear or reject.

Below are some links I have been reading, saving, and sharing from and on social media recently. Most are rooted in self-care, individual influence and responsibility, and creative community action through the arts. Many offer ways we can effectively activate resources, ideas, and our gifts both on and offline with others (and ourselves) as artists, creatives, mental health professionals, helpers, and human beings.

Self-Care:

Influence:

The Arts, Social Action, and Community Response:

Related Links:

Creative Resilience Link Round Up

20 Creative Quotes on Courage, Hope, & Possibility

Mission Statement Crafting

August 5, 2017

Recently I attended a retreat where part of the day introduced a closer look at the meaning behind mission statements. A mission statement offers intention and guidance towards ones goals and potential, often empowered by important values and beliefs.  A common practice in organizations and companies is to have a mission statement that helps define and offer focus about what the organization does, its purpose, and values.

Also introduced as a component of self-care during this retreat, mission statements can also be created as a personal declaration that helps define meaning, intentional living, and our own values that guide and empower our work, life, and goals.  It also helps strengthen resilience and compassion satisfaction, especially important for combatting compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatization, and burnout. After reflecting on this practice more, I was inspired to create a mission statement collage to explore this idea deeper.

Before crafting the collage I used a provided template inspired by the work of Covey, Merrill, & Merrill (1997) that offered a series of “it is my mission to” prompts. I also discovered there are a lot of mission statement generators and builders online if you want additional help!

Creating this collage also will serve as a visual reminder to continue reflect on and refine.

It is my mission to

Live mindfully with intention and courage

Work creatively to help others

Continue growing and learning

Love unconditionally

Be grateful, calm, and present

Become open to what unfolds

Believe in humanity and the greater good

Promote hope and possibility

Strive for grace and presence

Seek understanding with integrity

The Role of Social Media in Creativity and Connection

April 10, 2017

This past week, I helped moderate an online Make-inar organized by Inner Canvas‘ Lisa Mitchell that brought together therapists, students, and professionals to learn more about how connecting with your creativity can be a great way to strengthen your experiences as a clinician and see your therapeutic relationships and work with clients from a new and fresh perspective. I love opportunities that bring people together through technology for a common interest and the way these experiences offer support, encouragement, and connection! I left feeling inspired by the energy of the group and had lots of fun connecting with everyone.

This Make-inar was a preview event for a larger offering happening next month. I am super excited to announce that registration is now open for CreateFest 2017: The Second Annual Online Creativity Festival for Mental Health Professionals being held May 19 & 20. I contributed last year as a speaker and it was a great! I am thrilled to return to CreateFest again this year- not only as a speaker, but as co-host too!  🙂

CreateFest is a 2-day celebration to empower therapists, awaken our creative spirit, and reignite passion for our work.  Lisa has invited 12 speakers, all of whom are passionately committed to helping revitalize and enhance our practice.  Topics will include how to manage creative anxiety, embody our intuition, use creativity to grow resources, integrating writing with painting, writing for healing, and more through speaker interviews and lively conversation.  Rick Hanson, Natalie Goldberg, and Kay Adams are only a few of the speakers in this year’s line up that I am looking forward to learning from. Attendees will also be invited to participate in interactive, hands on creative experiences from each speaker to further explore the content and concepts presented.  No worries if you can’t make CreateFest live—there will be recordings available to watch at your convenience after the festival! This is a great online CEU opportunity for therapists including LMFT’s, LCSW’s, LPC’s, LMHC’s, ATR-BC’s. For a complete list visit the FAQ section of the CreateFest website.

I will be speaking about the role of social media in creativity and connection; specifically how social networking can inspire us and activate our creative process.  I will be sharing examples of art’s ability to bridge the gap between digital and physical connection and offer an invitation for CreateFest attendees to participate in a fun art exchange.

 

A CreateFest early bird rate is available until April 28- and there is also a discount available for people who register together!  Check out more information here.

I hope you will consider joining us!

Creative Resilience Link Round Up

January 20, 2017
Creative Resilence | creativity in motion

make&do 365: Resilient Insights

I’ve put together a round up of recent links and posts that highlight the role of creativity in managing challenging times, finding hope, and empowering resilience. I hope you find them as inspiring and helpful as I have.  As I was reading these posts over the last couple of months, they have been comforting messages about the importance of creative expression to make sense of new shifts, uncertain moments, and distressing times. They have also been amazing reminders of the power art and creative expression hold to connect us to our voice and each other.

On this day, I am grateful for all of this.

 

Creative Resilence | creativity in motion

make&do 365: Change Agent: Artful Entry

 

Creative Resilence | creativity in motion

make&do 365: Creative Evolutionists

Art Bridges

February 12, 2016

This month the Hildegard Center for the Arts published an inspiring, free resource of art-based ideas chock full of creative goodness called Art Bridges— Definitely a great collection (over 70 downloadable PDFs!)  for art therapists to use with their groups or individuals, as well as teachers or anyone interested in creative enrichment with youth!

Some of the ideas were contributed by members of the art therapy community- including myself- I was delighted to be invited to add a favorite gratitude art idea that I featured on this blog in 2012.  Since this post’s original publishing, I’ve used this idea with youth & women I’ve worked with in shelter- as a creative, affirming way to explore the concept of thankfulness in their own lives.  Often instead of making leaf shaped “blessing tags”, we would make different size and colored hearts to write on and hang from the mason jar’s branches.  It was a great community piece– the tree kept “growing” with new additions as more people add to it.  Others can also read the reflections previously shared.

The Art Bridges resource also suggests that therapists could also use the idea as a Courage or Healing Tree… a great idea that I may introduce into one of my groups!

Growing Abundance | creativity in motion

Thank you Hildegard Center for the Arts for putting this resource together and making it so accessible to us all! 🙂

Related Posts:

20 Creative Quotes on Giving & Gratitude

Garland of Gratitude

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Gratitude

Create Fest: The 1st Annual Virtual Creativity Festival for Mental Health Professionals

February 8, 2016

Check this out! Create Fest — The 1st Annual Virtual Creativity Festival for Mental Health Professionals!

I am soooo excited to be a part of this offering!

Lisa Michell and Courtney Armstrong have brought together 12 influential therapists, and asked each to offer inspired approaches that will help you partner with your creativity to do your best work and elicit deep transformation within your clients (and yourself).

CreateFest | creativity in motionDiscover new, creative ideas and earn 12 CEU’s from the comfort of your own home or office and… each speaker will lead an inspiring activity you can do during the festival to experience these transformational strategies yourself!

I am speaking about topics related to self-care, trauma focused work, and creativity’s role in supporting mental health professionals. It was a pleasure to speak with Lisa about these topics–  It’s an honor to be included in the debut of this event with such an inspiring line up with so much to offer…

If it seems like this offering would fit related to your work, I hope you’ll join us later this month!  🙂

Learn all about the offerings and speakers for this event here!

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