Posts Tagged ‘trauma’

Creative Arts Therapies Week 2017

March 12, 2017

Creative Arts Therapies Week begins today!  This week (March 12-18) is an an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the work of creative arts therapists and the membership organizations of the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations (NCCATA), which includes:

  • Art therapists
  • Music therapists
  • Drama therapists
  • Poetry therapists
  • Dance/Movement therapists
  • Psychodrama

In honor of this special week I wanted to share a couple of resources related to my own work as an art therapist:

  • I recently updated this SlideShare presentation that I often use when speaking to high school and college students about art therapy and some of education and training required to be an art therapist:

 

To learn more about the work of creative arts therapists, additional resources, and how to locate a qualified professional in your area, please visit these NCCATA membership associations:

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Creativity & The Arts in Healing

January 15, 2017

The UCLArts & Healing Conference in partnership with the Expressive Therapies Summit presents Creativity & The Arts in Healing to be offered this spring March 30 through April 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport. This 4 day conference is an opportunity to learn arts-based tools for facilitating communication, building connection, promoting positive emotions, fostering engagement, reducing stress, and managing the impact of trauma.  Offerings include 125+ workshops delivered by leading national experts in art, dance, drama, drumming, music, and writing integrated with mental health practices. Select any one or combination of days. Over 30 continuing education credits are available.

Creativity & Arts in Healing | creativty in motion

Specialty tracks include:

  • Mindfulness & Wellbeing
  • Children & Adolescents
  • Community Building & Social Justice
  • Expressive Writing & Journaling
  • Play Therapy
  • Special Populations

Creative expression invites self-reflection and dialogue that can lead to meaningful self-discovery, connection with others, and personal empowerment. Studies have shown that the arts—particularly when integrated with mental health practices—can yield social, emotional, physical and cognitive benefits. The nonverbal aspect of the arts transcends traditional barriers of age, ability, and culture. Shared creative experiences build empathy and community, which expand possibilities for action and transformation.

Creativity & Arts in Healing | creativty in motion

I am excited to be offering one of my favorite trauma informed and strength based workshops at this event: Tokens of Esteem and Affirmation, a mixed media art making session dedicated to making Artist Challenge Coins.  In the military, a Challenge Coin is a medallion symbolizing achievement or esteem. They are also given out to enhance morale and membership for members of the community. In the spirit of Challenge Coins, participants will learn how to make and use Artist Challenge Coins as tokens of affirmation, strength, and recovery.

Learning objectives:

  • Participants will describe 3 examples connected to the history and significance of Challenge Coins used to symbolize achievement, community building, and instill a sense of belonging;
  • Participants will state 3 ways Artist Challenge Coins (ACCs) can be adapted to use with a variety of populations and therapeutic settings.
  • Participants will describe a minimum of 1 value of using Challenge Coins with varied clinical populations.

Not only will we be making a series of our own coins, but participants will also  engage in a community art exchange with other workshop attendees.  I would love to have you join us- this half day workshop is scheduled for Sunday, April 2, 10 am-1pm.

To register and learn more about the Summit, its awesome line up of offerings and teaching faculty, check out www.expressivetherapiessummit.la. Early bird discounts are available through February 17!   See you in LA!

 

Creativity & The Arts in Healing | creativity in motion

Creativity & The Arts in Healing | creativity in motion

 

Creativity & The Arts in Healing | creativity in motion

 

 

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Make Paper, Make Peace

March 22, 2016

Earlier this month Drew Matott and I taught another Peace Paper papermaking, trauma intervention and social action course- this one for Counseling and Art Therapy graduate students at Ursuline College.  It was fun to teach together again over 2 days and introduce the 26 students we had to the therapeutic benefits of papermaking.

Make Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motionMake Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motion

Students were introduced to the work and travels of Peace Paper, its history and mission to collaborate with the art therapy community, and a variety of examples about how papermaking can be used with many different populations- especially in relationship to trauma, loss, & recovery, as well as bring awareness to issues related to mental health, sexual assault, and bullying.

Make Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motion

Students made lots of paper over the course of the workshop– probably at least 150 sheets (!) and experimented with pulp printing, double couching, and book binding.  Paper was first made using Peace Paper’s Hollander Beater from meaningful articles of clothing or a piece of fabric that students brought and wanted to transform into paper… as a new beginning or as an act of letting go of something.  Students also were introduced to DIY papermaking without the use of a Hollander, to explore adaptable options in the art therapy setting.

Make Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motion

What a great couple of days making paper with this group!

If you’re interested in Peace Paper’s trainings and workshops throughout the rest of 2016, check out the tour schedule here.  News about Peace Paper and resources for papermaking can be found here.

Make paper, make peace!

Related Posts

When It’s Hot…Make Some Paper!

Nepalese Style Peace Paper On the Go

Peacemaking & DIY Papermaking

 

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!

Purposeful Parenting & Creativity

July 5, 2015

Purposeful Parenting & Creativity | creativity in motion

July recognizes Purposeful Parenting Month, which highlights the significant relational value of parents and children having resilient and meaningful connections with one another. Purposeful Parenting embraces understanding, unconditional love, and empathy with the consistency of structure, safety, and healthy boundaries. To parent with purpose is to be an active contributor in sustaining rapport, connection, and intention with your child or teen.

One of the group offerings I facilitate is an art therapy group for moms living in a shelter with their children as they work on transitioning out of homelessness. This art therapy group is part of the shelter’s trauma informed parenting support program as an opportunity to receive nurturing assistance during this challenging time to strengthen coping, self-care, and explore empowering ways to sustain an affirming relationship in their child’s lives. The power of art and the creative process offers a safe place to address these topics.  Over the years that I’ve been involved with this program, I’ve met moms of amazing strength and resilience, not only committed to creating healthier relationships and attachments with their children, but often working on their own trauma recovery.

For children who have experienced trauma and loss in their young lives, having adult attachments that engage with purpose and compassion can be a key component to their healing. Perry & Szalavitz (2006) speak to how a child’s relationship with the adults in their lives has an essential component to how they react to trauma. They also note that if a child is surrounded and nurtured by caregivers who are safe, comforting, dependable, and present; this can help protect youth from the adverse effects of trauma, as well as strengthen their ability to recover.

“Recognizing the power of relationships and relational cues is essential to effective therapeutic work, and indeed, to effective parenting, caregiving, teaching, and just about any other human endeavor.” (p. 67, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog).

Ohio’s American Academy of Pediatrics identities six components to purposeful parenting for parents and caregivers to keep in mind. Being Protective, Personal, Progressive, Positive, Playful, and Purposeful in our relationships decreases the impact of chronic stress exposure and ultimately supports a child’s fullest potential and well-being.

The foundation of purposeful parenting and fostering relational enrichment inspired me to reflect on some fun and creative activities for families (and adult helpers involved in children’s lives) to engage in together that encourage affirming experiences and supportive interaction. Creative experiences can be an enjoyable way to foster connection, develop interpersonal ties, and positive memories:
  • Painting with Bubbles or Shaving Cream: These sensory-based twists on painting can encourage play and experimentation between child and parent using simple, inexpensive materials. Levine & Kline (2008) cite that activities involving art expression such as painting and drawing are great bonding opportunities for parents to engage in alongside their children.
  • Sidewalk Chalk: Grab a bucket or box of sidewalk chalk, head outside and take a break to chalk it up together—at home, a local park, or playground! Suggested ideas to support collective participation in this activity include drawing where the child and parent can add to one another’s images, marks, or doodles. If you are up for making your own sidewalk chalk, here’s how. Families can also play these classic sidewalk chalk games.
  • Nature Walk & Scavenger Hunt: Parents, young children, and teens can benefit from unplugging and taking time to enjoy the outdoors, fresh air and reconnect! Take a walk in nature, go biking or hiking together. Create a scavenger hunt of different nature items that the family can look for and find as a group or in pairs.
  • Homemade Play Dough and Goop: Spend a morning or afternoon making a batch of play dough together, or for older kids goop recipes can be equally as inviting and fun. You can even make scented play dough, which can add an additional sensory component to this experience.
  • Visit an Art Museum, Art Festival, or Creative Community Event: Check out your local art museum or art event as a family outing. Many museums have family related programming or guides that can help enhance your experience!  Here in Cleveland, the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gallery One offers a hands on, interactive family-friendly art space called Studio Play.  And it’s free!

No matter what the month or season, there is true power in the relationships we nurture for the children and teens we care for, either as parents, caregivers, or helpers. It’s important to keep enriching these healthy attachments by cultivating safe experiences and moments of meaning all year round.

Recommended Reading:

Levine, P.A., & Kline, M. (2008). Trauma-proofing your kids: A parent’s guide to instilling confidence, joy, and resilience. Berkeley : North Atlantic Books.

Perry, B.D., & Szalavitz, M. (2006). The boy who was raised as a dog. New York: Basic Books.

Resources:

Introduction to Purposeful Parenting (PDF) | Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

The Benefits of Purposeful Parenting | Office of Adolescent Health

The Artful Parent

PaintCutPaste

Summertime Creative Happenings & Goings On

May 26, 2015

Summer is starting to kick off and so is some creative fun and art therapy happenings coming soon:

Creativity In Motion | twenty15 on the go

July 1: 6 Degrees of Creativity’s 2015 virtual workshops open!  Yay!

Imagination Unearthed: Hidden Creativity Scavenger Hunt | creativity in motion

6 Degrees of Creativity

As part of this year’s offerings, I am excited to launch a new workshop dedicated to discovering the hidden creativity around us.  My curiosity around this topic was first sparked by this recent post and something I thought would be a fun endeavor to embark on together as we search for uncommon or unknown ways, forms, and different examples of how creativity can present itself.  I am also looking forward to the offerings that art therapy colleagues Sheila Lorenzo, Rachel Mims, and Heather Randazzo will be inviting participants to engage in as well, which include workshop topics on self-care through art & nature, recycled art & mail art fun, and yoga & art.

Summertime Happenings and Goings On | creativity in motion

Social Media & Art Therapy

July 9-11- American Art Therapy Association Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota: I will be involved with three offerings during this year’s AATA Conference:

  • The Digital Landscape of Social Media: Thursday, July 9, 1:30-2:30 pm: I will be leading this focus group to stimulate dialogue and discussion about social networking’s important role in building community
    and creating connection for art therapists worldwide.
  • Art, Transformation, and Trauma: Papermaking as Art Therapy: Friday, July 10, 10:15-11:45 am: I will be moderating this panel featuring the work of  art therapists who use papermaking inspired by the social action and art-based mission of the Peace Paper Project. Panelists include Meredith McMakin, Rachel Mims, Amy Bucciarelli, Genevieve Camp, and Janice Havlena. Content will include papermaking as a form of trauma intervention, including vignettes addressing eating disorder recovery, managing illness and disability, grief and loss, and working with veterans.
  • Ethics of Identity in Digital Culture & Art Therapy: Saturday, July 11, 10:15-11:45 am: I will be contributing to this panel with art therapists Megan Campbell, Moriah Lancaster-Laird, and Natalie Carlton about topics connected to digital technologies and ethical considerations for the art therapy profession.

I am also looking forward to bringing Creative Deed 365 to Minneapolis and invite you to consider joining us if you will be attending the conference!

July 24- ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County Trauma Collaborative: I’ve been invited to present on Art Therapy & Trauma Intervention to members and agencies who attend this quarterly meeting.

Stay tuned for other updates and art from Creative Deed 365 and the Random Acts of Art Adventure, in upcoming summer posts as these creative pursuits carry on!  And I hope to be able to share some of the wonderful work in the spirit of my Creative Covenants workshop happening over at Hali Karla Arts’ Spectrum too. And, right around the corner….Daisy Yellow’s ICAD 2015 begins June 1 – Wondering if I should combine my creative deed making with daily index card creating for this fun annual event? Hmmm…. more on this in my next post!

Summertime creativity is definitely in the air!

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Related Posts:

Creative Deed 365 Minneapolis

When it’s hot…Make some paper!

Social Media’s Role in Cultivating Art Therapy Connection, Community, & Creativity

Human Trafficking in Art: Expressions of Truth, Courage, Resilience, & Recovery

March 3, 2015

This week launched the local exhibit opening of Human Trafficking in Art on display in Rocky River, Ohio.  The exhibit is hosted by the West Shore Allies Against Human Trafficking Taskforce and includes a variety of work dedicated to giving a voice and awareness to this important issue and the work of the Renee Jones Empowerment Center (RJEC).

The photographs of Carla Carter Lovejoy and Don Iannone were on display (read this article about their photos when they were at Notre Dame College this past fall), telling a powerful visual narrative behind the truth of human trafficking, as well as a story of help, hope, and healing.  Also on exhibit were awareness posters created from middle and high school students in NE Ohio as part of efforts of the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking, as well as art from the art therapy groups I have been facilitating at RJEC with survivors and at risk youth as part of Ursuline ArtSpace Outreach.

The exhibit was a beautiful, moving display of truth, courage, hope, and recovery.

Human Trafficking in Art | creativity in motion

On display March and April 2015

Human Trafficking in Art | creativity in motion

It’s hard to believe that it has almost been a year since art therapy group work started at RJEC. Over the last 10 months our group gatherings have been a creative journey & artful testimony of raw emotions, coping, growth, and resilience. I am grateful and humbled by the women and teens who have shared their experiences through their art, as well as the incredible support of art therapy received from Renee Jones, Sr. Cecilia Liberatore and the many, many advocates of the RJEC’s work.

Human Trafficking in Art | creativity in motion

Pictured with Sr. Anne Victory (Collaborative to End Human Trafficking), Carla Carter Lovejoy, and Don Iannone

If you are in the NE Ohio area in March or April, I recommend taking the time to visit this exhibit and learn more about human trafficking through the photos and images on display.  The exhibit runs through April 25 and is open to the public.

For resources, help, and how to get involved with national advocacy efforts, visit the National Human Trafficking Resource Center here.  You can also support important local NE Ohio initiatives through the Renee Jones Empowerment Center.

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Related Posts:

Creating Hope: NE Ohio Human Trafficking Symposium

Art as a Voice: Art Therapy with Survivors of Domestic Violence

Through a Grateful Winter Lens: A Sense of Sacredness Among the Ordinary

 

Trauma, Transformation & Growth

February 15, 2015

This past week here in NE Ohio at Cuyahoga Community College Eastern Campus’ Gallery was the Exhibit Opening for The Transformative Image: Post Traumatic Growth & Art Therapy.

This exhibit featured a strong range of creative expressions (paintings, installations, drawing, textiles, ceramics, mixed media, photography & more) inspired by personal experiences and the concept of Post Traumatic Growth (PTG).  PTG filled the gallery everywhere with images & artistic representations that transformed extreme struggle, adversity, or trauma into positive, internal growth deep with re-connection to purpose, attachment, and empowerment:

Trauma, Transformation, & Growth | creativity in motion

Exhibit Opening: The Transformative Image- Post Traumatic Growth & Art Therapy

 

Trauma, Transformation, & Growth | creativity in motion

Butterfly Art Installation for adding hopes, dreams, & wishes

 

Trauma, Transformation, & Growth | creativity in motion

My Own Beautiful, Altered Brain

Here are a few interesting reads to check out & learn more about PTG:

  • Resilience and Post Traumatic Growth: Learn some creative tips via Lani Gerity’s blog on how to cultivate and practice resilience in when faced with stressful life circumstances.

If you’re going to be/in the NE Ohio area, The Transformative Image: Post Traumatic Growth & Art Therapy Exhibit is on display until March 6 at the Tri-C East Campus Gallery:

Trauma, Transformation, & Growth | creativity in motion

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Related Posts:

Journey to Resilience: Takeaways & Creative Offerings

The Art of Emotional Resilience

Everyday Courage: Artist Challenge Coins

Garland of Gratitude

November 19, 2014

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching soon, this time of year is particularly meaningful to create handmade items to give honor and appreciation to what we are thankful for.  This week I am introducing some of my groups to making a gratitude garland as a way to explore this theme.

Garland of Gratitude | creativity in motion

I am keeping the garland construction simple: I’ve cut strips from 12 x 12 patterned scrapbook paper (different colors, designs), hole punched the ends to tie together with twine (rather than just stapling or using double sided tape- which is OK too!) to begin the making of a paper chain.  Before tying the ends of the twine together,  I wrote a list of what I am thankful for this year on the one side (which will become the inside) of the paper chain link.

Each chain link can also include an attached tag as a way to label with a significant word, quote or individual’s name. Letter stamping and using other rubber stamps to simply embellish can come in handy!

Garland of Gratitude | creativity in motion

For a group offering, garlands can be made together formed by individuals contributing their own paper chain link(s) to the collective piece or individuals can work on their own garlands in the same group space.  I also think adding an exchange of gratitude strips among group members would also be fun and add to a group’s supportive intention.

The benefits to engaging in a gratitude practice are many. Of course there is the wonderful byproduct of increased joy and compassion, but to also purposefully recognize what we hold appreciation for can help strengthen adaptive coping and empower a here and now awareness that we do have control over in our attitude, behavior, and actions with ourselves, others, & our experiences.

This article, Gratitude in the Midst of Trauma: Why Thankfulness Matters, especially describes the role gratitude can have in trauma recovery.

And…if you are looking for more garland inspired ideas, check out these artful ideas:

Misfits and Remnants: Grateful

Soulemama’s Gratitude Garland

Boho Gratitude Garland

Enjoy!

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Related Posts:

Guerrilla Art Meets Gratitude for Thanksgiving

Growing Abundance: The Making of My Gratitude Tree

On Practicing and Creating Gratitude

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! 🙂

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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

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