Posts Tagged ‘self-care’

twenty14 on the go :: autumn offerings & happenings

September 15, 2014

“….autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together…” ~ Edwin Way Teale, Autumn Across America

Fall is quickly approaching, which means lots of art therapy and related offerings & activity happening– Yay!

The kick off for me starts this week with attending Ohio’s 33rd Annual BATA Symposium in Columbus, Implications of Research in Art Therapy Practice. I am looking forward to these couple of days to be inspired, meet up with art therapy colleagues & friends, as well as make some art!  Throughout the next couple of months I am also excited to be guest lecturing for undergraduate and graduate art therapy courses, facilitating a local art gathering dedicated to self care & emotional resiliency, and teaching again for the Expressive Therapies Summit in New York City, and at Ursuline College:

twenty14 on the go | autumn offerings & happenings | creativity in motion

Tokens of Strength & Affirmation: Artist Challenge Coins (ACCs)

September 19-20: 2014 Buckeye Art Therapy Association (BATA) Symposium, Columbus, Ohio- Laurel Larson, MPS, ATR and me will be offering the workshop “Tokens of Strength & Affirmation: Artist Challenge Coins (ACCs)” as part of this year’s BATA Symposium program on Friday afternoon. Used in the military, a Challenge Coin is a medallion symbolizing achievement, membership, or recognition, as well as given to increase morale and community among belonging members. In the spirit of Challenge Coins, participants will learn how to use Artist Challenge Coins (ACCs) as tokens of affirmation, strength, and recovery. Participants will engage in making their own ACC with mixed media, as well as create an ACC to exchange with other participants.

September 24: Guest lecturing at Ursuline College’s Master of Arts in Art Therapy & Counseling Program about the inspiration of Dr. Bruce Perry in relationship to art therapy & trauma as part of Dr. Amy Jacob’s Psychopathology course.

October 3: Guest lecturing at Ursuline College’s Master of Arts in Art Therapy & Counseling Program as part of Sr. Kathleen Burke, PhD’s Arts and Social Justice intensive course.

twenty14 on the go | autumn offerings & happenings| creativity in motion

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: An Evening of Art Making for Helping Professionals

October 15: Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: An Evening of Art Making for Helping Professionals, Cleveland, Ohio- Explore & strengthen emotional resilience through art-making and creative practice within this small and artful gathering of helping professionals. This evening of art-making will focus on creating a mini, mobile accordion matchbox art journal that can serve as a tangible reminder of support, strength, & the importance of self-care for the work we do in service & care of others. For more information and to register, visit this link.

October 20 & 21: Remote lecture for undergraduate psychology students at the University of Cincinnati, Clermont College focusing on the topic of using art in trauma intervention.

November 6-9: 5th Annual Expressive Therapies Summit, New York City- On November 6, Mindy Jacobson-Levy, MCAT, ATR-BC, LPC, DVATA HLM and me will be teaching the Master Class Destruction & Transformation in Art & Therapy: Re-Framing, Re-Forming, Re-Claiming at this year’s ET Summit. Participants in this all day offering will explore key concepts surrounding the therapeutic role of creative destruction and the reparation of images that fosters the fertile ground for self-repair and personal growth. A self-directed journey will commence as we discover how art making affects each of us; this enhanced by group discussion. Case material will be presented as a bridge to our work with various client populations.

Throughout this semester I am also teaching Art Therapy Studio I again, a core course for Ursuline College’s Art Therapy & Counseling Program to explore creativity, self expression, and lots of studio, art-making time.  In addition to personal art making and creating a portfolio of work throughout the semester, students will also learn how to create digistories and use the medium of digital storytelling to share narratives about their artist identity.

This fall I also have some new supervision times available for art therapists seeking the Art Therapist Registration (ATR) credential, whether you are local to or outside NE Ohio.  Skype supervision sessions are available for art therapists living outside NE Ohio and abroad.  Check out this link for more information and how to connect with me if you might be interested.

As always during this busy and inspiring time of year, I hope that there might be a place or opportunity above or between for us to connect and meet up off the grid!  ❤

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Journey to Resilience: Takeaways & Creative Offerings

June 5, 2014
Journey to Resilence: Takeaways & Creative Offerings | creativity in motion

3×5 365 day 154 takeaways : journey to resilience

This week was our annual staff retreat and this year the day was completely dedicated to the impact of trauma exposure, self-care strategies, and resiliency.  The retreat’s main speaker was Cynthia Vrabel, MD, who is the Medical Director of FrontLine Service here in Cleveland. Dr. Vrabel’s work includes an interest in research and program development to address the issue of secondary traumatic stress in clinicians and first responders.

I found the content presented throughout the day really spoke to the realities, challenges, & struggles of trauma work and exposure related to compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and burnout, as well as provided nurturing and encouraging staff self-care strategies and takeaways to implement and build upon as individuals, within programming, and agency wide. It was re-energizing to spend the day receiving Dr. Vrabel’s teachings and reminders rooted in the work of Dr. Bruce Perry, Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, Brene Brown, and many others who offer support & inspiration related to trauma focused work.

There were countless takeaways from the day, but my top 3 were these:

  • Create a Transition Zone: A space, ritual or practice that supports us to create a healthier boundary and balance between our personal life and work. In the same spirit, this idea reminded me to re-visit the article, 10 Easy Steps to Creating a Peaceful Home Retreat published by the Joyful Heart Foundation‘s Reunion Magazine (Issue 2).  This resource provides many sensory based suggestions that can help cultivate routines and areas within the space we live to shift into a place of calmness, peace, and relaxation.  Using symbolic objects, scents, music, journaling, creative expression, & more are all offered as options to integrate this into self care practice.
  • Covenant Based Caregiving: A covenant can be defined as “a written agreement or promise…especially for the performance of some action.” What are your covenants, values, or intentions related to bringing your “best self” to your life, work and service….to not only others, but to yourself as well? We were given a worksheet created by Dr. Vrabel to explore discovering our own covenants that I thought could easily be explored in visual form as well (I thought about making a collage or book!).  What are your own values and promises to yourself that you can make about living, working, loving, being, becoming, believing, promoting, striving, and seeking that support covenant caregiving vs. “on demand” caregiving?
  • Compassion Satisfaction: Compassion satisfaction is the enjoyment created from being able to help other people. It is the opposite of Compassion Fatigue (the emotional and physical exhaustion of caring for others) or Vicarious Trauma (becoming traumatized ourselves as a result of being exposed to stories and images of suffering).  I am always interested in learning more about concepts connected to Post Traumatic Growth and how very stressful or traumatic situations can transform into positive and life affirming experiences. Compassion Satisfaction supports this experience for the helper or caregiver, which I love!  Check out this resource: Transforming Compassion Fatigue into Compassion Satisfaction – 12 Top Self Care Tips for more ideas and suggestions.

In addition to the cognitive learning throughout the day, there was also dedicated time to mind/body & sensory based activities to support and explore self-care themes.  Part of the morning included engaging in stretching, movement, & deep breathing and during some of the afternoon I was able to introduce and lead everyone in an art experience focused on art journaling as a tool for nurturing emotional resilience.

Journey to Resilience: Takeways & Creative Offerings | creativity in motion

Nurturing Emotional Resilience through Art Journaling

 Everyone created paper bag art journals (check out this past post on how to make one!) as a tangible reminder of our supports, strengths, positive affirmations, and comfort.  Each person also received an Artist Trading Card as an invitation to create an anchoring image that reflected a sense of peace and relaxation inspiration.  A variety of creative goodness was offered for materials such as acrylic paint, pastels, Sharpies, gel pens, printed paper of various colors and bright designs, tissue paper, as well as journaling cards & Smash pad paper.  I also invited people to bring their own favorite quotes, sayings, images and inspiration related to resiliency, affirmation, and self-care.

Journey to Resilience: Takeways & Creative Offerings | creativity in motion

Journey to Resilience: Takeways & Creative Offerings | creativity in motion

Journey to Resilience: Takeways & Creative Offerings | creativity in motion

It was great to see the room buzz with book making and art journaling energy infused with both written and visual positive messages.  The group was encouraged to continue working on their handmade journal and ATC post retreat and to also incorporate its presence into a work space where it could be of help or support in times of need or support.

Journey to Resilience: Takeways & Creative Offerings | creativity in motion

In relationship to this post’s topic, next month at the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children’s Childhood Trauma Practitioner’s Assembly, I’ll be presenting another workshop about Art Journaling’s Visual Voice in Trauma Intervention.  This hands-on workshop will explore the use of art journaling as a safe, contained space for processing emotional expression, promoting self-care, and sharing one’s personal narrative and intentions. Content will include themes and the benefits of art journaling as a visual voice and means of trauma intervention with youth and women survivors of trauma. Participants will also engage in creating their own mini art journal with mixed media to identify and support their own professional self-care practices and intentions related to working with trauma & loss issues.  Registration for this year’s Assembly is still open if you’re interested in attending!

It was so wonderful to have a day to come together to honor self-care and the impact trauma work can have on our wellbeing, as well as learn and practice ways to manage, balance, and cultivate what supports our best self – at work, home, and in our relationships. Very grateful!

Related Resources:

The Art of Emotional Resilience

Top Ten Takeaways : PEP Symposium Dr. Bruce Perry in Cleveland

Trauma Stewardship, Gratitude, and Wordle Making

Calling Sock Monkey Makers!

November 15, 2013

Calling sock monkey makers: I’m organizing the 3rd Annual 6 Degrees of Creativity Sock Monkey Swap!

Everyone who signs up for the sock monkey swap will be randomly paired with another sock monkey maker.  You’ll be making one sock monkey for someone, and someone will be making one for you. To sign up for the swap, e-mail your full name and a mailing address to me at 6degreesofcreativity@arttherapyalliance.org by November 25, 2013. During the week of November 25, you will receive mailing info from me on where to mail your sock monkey to. Please note you are responsible for postage, which could be to an international destination. Please don’t sign up for the exchange unless you are committed to the swap and following through. All sock monkeys should be mailed out by December 16, 2013 to their new home.

Need sock monkey making information and tutorials?  Check out this post from last year’s swap, as well as Operation Sock Monkey’s (OSM) step by step on how to build your own sock monkey.

Call for Sock Monkeys: Sock Monkey Swap 2013

It’s time for another sock monkey swap!

I also recommend checking out this content prepared by SIUE Master’s Art Therapy Counseling students Clarissa Weltzin and Renee Tate about the benefits of making sock monkeys for self care and their written sock monkey instructions.  Both Clarissa and Renee participated in last year’s 6 Degrees of Creativity sock monkey swap and service project for OSM. It was a pleasure to see their poster session, “The Fuzzies of Self Care: No Room for Sock Monkeyin’ Around” presented at the Illinois Art Therapy Association Conference last month!

Holiday Happening: Sock Monkeys for OSM

Holiday Happening: Sock Monkeys for OSM | creativity in motion

For some local art therapy & sock monkey making here in Cleveland, Ursuline College’s Art Therapy & Counseling Program will host sock monkey making as part of their Annual Holiday Happening on December 14. I’ll be demonstrating how to make sock monkeys and bringing sock monkey supplies to add to the afternoon’s festivities!  Sock monkeys created will then be donated to OSM to help serve children and families in need.  Read about previous sock monkey making from Art Therapy and Counseling students at Ursuline College via the college’s blog Mosaic.

Call for Sock Monkeys! | creativity in motion

Call for Sock Monkeys!

I’m also interested in putting together a DIY 2014 calendar featuring handmade sock monkeys created by my sock monkey making friends…. More fun! Please let me know if you’re interested in submitting a photo by December 16 of your sock monkey for one of the calendar months!

*****

Related Posts:

Craftivism Inspiration

Sock Monkey Swap (2012) & OSM Service Project

The Joy of Sock Monkey Making

Artful Adventure Treasures from New York

November 13, 2013

I just spent a few days in New York City where I attended some of the 4th Annual Expressive Therapies Summit.

Newlandscape

Expressive Therapies Summit

This year‘s program included over 200 faculty and 130 sessions over 4 days across New York City. There was a lot going on!

summitmeetups

Creative Meet Ups & Connecting

One of my favorite things to do is to connect with and meet up with art therapists, students, and virtual friends I have met, collaborated with or follow online, which this conference allowed plenty of opportunity for, including a Networking Meet Up at The New School on the first day of the Summit! It was great to meet many in person from the Art Therapy Alliance and 6 Degrees of Creativity communities who were also attending the Summit.

TNH

Thich Nhat Hahn Exhibit

One of the meet-up opportunities for the Art Therapy Alliance community included visiting the US debut of “Calligraphic Meditation: The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh” currently on display at abc carpet and home.  The display , works of calligraphy, and their inspiring messages were beautiful.  I am grateful I was able to see it and take it in with other art therapists!

On the last day of the Summit, I offered my workshop focusing on art journaling & trauma intervention with women survivors of domestic violence, as well as using art journaling for professional self care. It was a very nice way to end the Summit: a room full of brown paper bag journal making that provided the time & space to explore and honor self-care in relationship to trauma work.  Many thanks to everyone who attended!

SummitWorkshop

Art Journaling as a Visual Voice for Trauma Intervention Workshop

Some themes and prompts I introduced for consideration in relationship to professional self care were inspired by these topics and inspiring work:

Self-Care Proclamation/Mantra: Christine Arylo
Anchoring/Safe Place: Kathleen Adams
Gratitude: Laura van Dernoot Lipsky
Affirmations, Strengths: Martin Seligman
Relaxation Inspiration: Lani Gerity
Vulnerability: Brené  Brown
Mind Mapping / Cluster Writing
Relational Enrichment: Bruce Perry’s 3 P’s

You can also learn more about these themes in relationship to art therapy & professional self-care from my past posts about Self Care through Creative Practice and Intention.

Much gratitude to the Expressive Therapies Summit and its team for an inspiring time and bringing us all together!

*****

Related Posts:

Artful Adventure Treasures from Chicago

Art Journaling: Brown Paper Bag Style

Trauma Stewardship, Gratitude, and Wordle Making

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Vulnerability

September 14, 2013

Here’s some new images from my self-care art journal, which have started to focus on the theme of vulnerability, inspired by the always amazing work and teachings of Brené Brown:

Self Care through Creative Practice and Intention: Vulnerability | creativity in motion

“What we know matters, but who we are matters more”

In relationship to self-care and trauma work, an awareness of our own personal and professional vulnerabilities and willingness to be open to these are valuable insights to strengthening our practice and connections with those we serve.

I think this open and authentic look into myself and self care practices can only help me become more aware and present with the work I do and hopefully protect against trauma exposure responses we are also so vulnerable to.

For more information on trauma exposure, this fact sheet about secondary traumatic stress from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network is a helpful resource for warning signs, prevention and intervention ideas.

Self Care through Creative Practice and Intention: Vulnerability | creativity in motion

Working on these pages also inspired me to re-visit Brené’s 2010 TEDx Talk about the power of vulnerability.  The talk features Brené’s research and own journey on the topic to better understand her process and the longing we face to be truly open, connected, loved, and worthy:

Exploration of the vulnerability topic also spontaneously surfaced in my 365 revo’lution this week on Day 252.  A welcomed surprise around my intentions of service & trust!

Self Care through Creative Practice and Intention: Vulnerability | creativity in motion

*****

Related Posts:

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Anchoring

Self-Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Affirmation

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Gratitude

Art Therapy Happenings and Goings On: twentythirteen fall on the go

August 19, 2013

I’ve been gearing up for art therapy fall happenings and goings on that I’m looking forward to this year… Lots of good stuff on the calendar! Check it out:

This week begins the first day of Art Therapy Studio I that I’ll be teaching for Ursuline College’s Art Therapy  and Counseling Program.  I’m very excited to meet the students and work together throughout the fall semester exploring concepts about the creative process, developing their unique self-expression, and symbolic language through art.  This course engages students in tons of personal art making in and outside of class, as well as time to reflect about their identity as an artist, which I believe is so essential in the on-going work of an art therapist. Students will be creating a portfolio of work, exploring artist mentors, and telling their own path as an artist through digital storytelling to help facilitate this discovery.

Next month, I’ll be attending Ohio’s Buckeye Art Therapy Association’s Annual Symposium (September 28 & 29) featuring  Dr. Harriet Wadeson as the Keynote Speaker. Dr. Wadeson “will focus on the use of creative self-expression in facing severe illness as an experienced art therapist and from the subjective vantage point of her own cancer diagnosis and treatment as highlighted in her recent book, Journaling Cancer in Words and Images: Caught in the Clutch of the Crab.” On-line registration is still open until August 26 to attend this 2 day event of art therapy offerings!

toplogoIn October I’ll be visiting Mount Mary University in Milwaukee again to teach a week-end class about Art Therapy Interventions and Strategies with Survivors of Domestic Violence. Content related to group work & appropriate themes, using art to help re-establish safety, build resiliency, manage traumatic stress, as well as art’s role to empower a visual voice in trauma intervention will be explored. I’m grateful to have this opportunity to spend time with Mount Mary’s art therapy graduate students and to share my experiences over this 3 day offering.

Also in October, I’ll be attending the Illinois Art Therapy Association Conference (October 26), Collective Rekindling: Healing Narratives in Art Therapy being held at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  The Keynote Speaker for this conference is Dr. Lani Gerity, which is so perfect for the conference theme!  As part of the conference, I’ll be presenting a workshop on Art Journaling’s Visual Voice in Trauma Intervention. This hands-on workshop will explore the use of art journaling as a safe, contained space for processing emotional expression, promoting self care, and sharing ones personal narrative and intentions. Content will include themes and the benefits of art journaling as a visual voice and means of trauma intervention with youth and women survivors of trauma.  Participants will engage in creating their own mini art journal with mixed media to identify and support their own professional self-care practices and intentions related to working with trauma & loss issues.

I’ll also be presenting my art journaling and trauma intervention workshop at the 4th Annual Expressive Therapies Summit while in New York City this November. Check out my offering on November 10 and others related to Story, Journaling, and Poetry in Therapy available at this year’s Summit here. This year’s Summit includes over 175 faculty presenting on 7 Creative Arts over 4 days throughout NYC!

I hope our paths will cross to meet up or say hello at one of these offerings this fall!

*****

Related posts:

Group Strategies & Interventions with Traumatized Children and Adolescents | Online Course

Self Care through Creative Practice and Intention

On the Go: Change, Transformation, & Action through Art

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Anchoring

July 21, 2013

After some time away from working in my self-care art journal, I’ve worked on a couple of new pages:

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention:  Anchoring | creativity in motion

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Art Journal

As mentioned in my last post, I was inspired by Cherie Spehar‘s reminder at this year’s National Institute for Trauma in Loss in Children’s Assembly about anchoring– and its role in journaling & trauma informed practice. In Cherie’s workshop, she mindfully highlighted that the process of journaling in connection to inner thoughts, strong emotions, intense memories, and painful experiences can trigger overwhelming responses for trauma survivors.  Part of proceeding with emotional caution includes anchoring, which involves creating a mini safety plan (before starting to journal) about what the client can do or go to, to help re-establish safety and ground themselves to the here and now if needed.

This resource (Reconnecting to the Present-Anchoring PDF) provides a really good overview about the process, benefits, and tips about anchoring from SASC. Another great reference is Babette Rothschild’s “applying the brakes” content in relationship to trauma intervention.

Self-Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Anchoring | creativity in motion

One anchoring consideration is to re-connect to a positive past image.  A sensory based symbol (a smell, sound, taste, feeling, something you see) can be chosen for recall when feeling out of control and overwhelmed. This can help re-establish a sense of safety and well-being in the present.

For this art journal, I created an Anchoring Artist Trading Card that helps ground and re-connect me to the here and now.  The sensation, feeling, and reflection of light often does this me.

You could also create a Portable Safe Place Artist Trading Card as another form of your personal anchor!

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Mind Mapping | creativity in motion

Some self care mind mapping

I also did some mind mapping for my art journal in the form of a tri-fold to help expand on my self care plan and anchoring related to my professional self. I identified 4 important areas in honoring my own self care: Safety, Creativity, Support, and Well-being.

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention:  Anchoring | creativity in motion

Tri fold notes to myself

This was an easy and fun way to create a visual self care plan!

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention:  Anchoring | creativity in motion

Self-care plan made visible

Prompt: What would your personal anchor and self-care mind map look like?

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Related Posts:

I Care for Me: Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Gratitude

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Affirmation

I Like This: Glue It Tuesday Smashbooking

June 25, 2013

I had some time this morning to do some smashbooking inspired by Artsyville’s Glue It Tuesday:

I Like This: Glue It Tuesday Smashbooking | creativity in motion

I Like This: Glue It Tuesday Smashbooking 6/25/13

This spread is dedicated to some of my favorite intentions for well-being to start off this day: trust, simplicity, balance, and embracing inspiration in today’s moments…I like that!

******

Related Posts:

My Top 10 Favorite Things to Glue: Glue It Tuesday

Glue It Tuesday Smashbooking- May 28, 2013

From My Smashbook: April Inspirations

Self-Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Affirmation

June 9, 2013

I have been working on another spread in my art journal dedicated to self-care. This adventure launched a few weeks ago, as a safe space for me to explore some trauma informed concepts and creative resources related to the topic of self care.

My first couple of pages focused on gratitude, as well as creating a self-care proclamation, and these new pages explore affirmation as another tool for self-care.

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Affirmation | creativity in motion

My inspiration and resources for these pages came from Jocelyn Paige Kelly’s interview with author Janet Nestor (Pathways to Wholeness and Nuturing Wellness through Radical Self-Care) and her reflections about the benefits of affirmations on our well-being, as well as this Life Book art journaling prompt from Dawn DeVries Sokol about identifying positive self words. I also re-visited Lesson 2 from Lani Gerity’s Happy Artist’s Life (showing gratitude to our strengths!).

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Affirmation

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Affirmation

Reflecting on positive thoughts, inspiration, and strengths is always a valuable process for me to return to. I think the expression and viewing in a visual, artsy form, (i.e. my art journal) that I can keep handy & accessible increases this benefit. This process helps re-focus and re-frame the challenges of my day to day practice with good vibes and intention important to my professional self-care.

Janet Nestor shares these thoughts in her Realizing Your Creative Life interview:

“Affirmations help us develop and maintain a positive lifestyle. We can create new brain neuropathways with our positive thoughts, and affirmations speed up the process. “Neurons that fire together wire together” illustrates what happens when similar thoughts are repeated over and over again.”

Here’s to the power of positive thought and art-making combined! And the awesome impact this can have on our neuropathways for self-care!

Dictionary Art Inspiration, Branch Strengthening, & Smashbooking

June 2, 2013

I recently stumbled upon this Dictionary Art Journaling Prompt posted by Bebe Butler and couldn’t wait to create something inspired by this idea!  I grabbed the closest dictionary to me, did some photocopying, opened my smashbook, and got out some of my favorite art journaling materials to create this:

Dictionary Art Prompt | creativity in motion

Dictionary Art & Branch Strengthening

The word and definition I chose for this prompt was “bough” (i.e. the branch of a tree). I was drawn to this word because I remembered Christine Arylo’s self branches concept introduced in her book Madly in Love with Me (Chapter 3).

Arylo encourages strengthening the branches of our self love tree: “care, awareness, acceptance, trust, esteem, compassion & forgiveness, empowerment, expression, honor & respect, and pleasure” (p 55). This image focuses on self-trust, which is the topic of Chapter 8.

Dictionary Art Prompt-Detail

This was fun to work on! Thank you Bebe for the prompt and introducing this inspiration for using more dictionary pages in my art journaling…  🙂

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