On being one, on being many

Quotes from Essays on the Creative Arts Therapies: Imaging the Birth of a Profession by David Read Johnson

“I am one person, yet I am all of these, a drama therapist, a creative arts therapist, a mental health professional, a health care provider, and a suffering person. Each of us faces this challenge, to be one, and to be many. The capacity to integrate experience: our feelings, thoughts, roles, and identities into one whole, while maintaining an appreciation for the diversity and complexity of the parts, this indeed is the challenge of development, of growth, of maturity.” (p. 36)


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Antidotes to professional burnout

There are always challenges of balancing institutional stress and chaos while still needing to be accepted, recognized, and respected within the institutional framework. Dolginko and Robbins (1987) suggest the following as possible ways to avoid professional burnout:

1. We need to put limits on our work so that we have time with friends and family.
2. We need to process our reactions concerning both patients and the institutions within which we work. Ideally, that should be done both verbally and nonverbally in peer groups and informally with other mental health colleagues.
3. We need periods of time to get completely away from our work to replenish our personal resources.
4. We must examine our own issues regarding separation and be able to leave a situation that becomes so toxic that it makes our effectiveness and potential growth impossible. (p. 177-118)

Dolginko, B. G., Robbins, A. (1987). The institution as a holding environment for the  therapist. In The artists as therapist (pp. 116-136). New York, NY: Human Sciences Press, Inc. Schaverien, J. (1985). Creativity and the Institution. International Journal of Art Therapy: Inscape, 3-6.

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Art Therapy Without Borders has launched!

Art Therapy Without Borders has officially launched and its mission is:

• to promote the therapeutic use of art and advancement of art therapy research in mental health,
healthcare, educational, community, and independent practice settings;
• to establish an international network of colleagues, students and other interested individuals
• to support the development of education, communication, and exchange of information on art
• to promote understanding of art therapy through dissemination of leading edge news and development of media, online education, archives, and publications;
• to encourage public recognition of art therapy through development of opportunities to serve to others
in need, enhance health, and transform lives;
• to advance collaborative research and program development

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Pratt Institute Commencement, 2010

Patti Smith to Pratt Grads: ‘Be Happy, Take Care of Your Teeth’

“I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to talk about: Moby Dick, the slaves of Michelangelo, Hans Hoffman, My Bloody Valentine, but now that I’m here, my greatest urge is speak to you of dental care,” she began. “My generation had a rough go, dentally….You have a better chance at dental health, and I say this because you want at night to be pacing the floor because your muse is burning inside of you, because you want to do your work, because you want to finish that canvas, because you want to make that design, because you want to help your fellow man. You don’t want to be pacing because you need a damn root canal.”

Read more @ UnBeige

Doctor, Doctor (Patti Smith, Steven Soderbergh, Jonathan Lethem)

Last Monday, Pratt Institute held its graduation ceremony at Radio City Music Hall. At 10 A.M., giddy graduates and their families milled around the auditorium, while, backstage, a breakfast buffet had been laid out for professors, administrators, and a handful of people with distinguished careers in the arts who were about to receive honorary degrees (official wording: “the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts honoris causa . . . with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto”). A few of the honorees looked especially pleased: they’d never received college degrees in the first place.

Watch: Patti Smith Gives Hearfelt Commencement Address

Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute invited the great Patti Smith to their graduation, awarding her with an honorary doctorate and a place on the podium for what turned out to be a gorgeously heartfelt talk.

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I’ve decided not to be someone else after all

I've decided not to be someone else after all


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Phototherapy Directives

Phototherapy Directives by Robert Wolf, MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT, LPsyA:

  1. “Self” Portraits: Create a series of portraits of yourself in various moods, then, as you view the final prints, spontaneously write or draw a reaction of what you see, directly on the mounted photo, using art materials.
  2. Collages: Create personally significant “visual metaphors” through collages made from various photographic prints. You may wish to combine these photos with other art media.
  3. Creative Constructions: Create 3D constructs using photographic prints. Explore various methods of construction and design some method to exhibit your constructs.
  4. Childhood Snapshot Reconstructions: Re-photograph or scan childhood snapshot/s and, using creative techniques, reconstruct the photo/s in a new way. Use of a combination of creative photographic techniques and visual art materials is suggested.
  5. True-self, False-self Portrait: Create a pair of photographs which represent aspects of your True-Self and your False-Self.
  6. Self-Image Construct: Create a photographic construction that symbolically represents your “self-image”
  7. Creative Concept-Elaboration: Take one or more theoretical terms, such as “transitional object,” “transference,” or “projective identifications,” and create a photograph which communicates that concept.
  8. Creative Dyad: Pick a partner, set up and photograph a pose where you are both interacting and elaborate using art materials in a creative way, to communicate or emphasize some aspect of your relationship.
  9. Monster-Self: Create yourself as a monster through creative photography techniques.
  10. Creative Home: Photograph your own, or some other home, which you would have liked to have been your own. Laminate the photograph to sturdy cardboard or foam core and make a construction of the home. Creatively restructure or elaborate.
  11. Creative Portrait Poster: Photograph yourself holding a large blank paper. Once the photo is printed, draw something in the ‘blank’ space.
  12. Inside/Outside self constructs: Using photographs mounted to cardboard or foam-core, create a box-like structure which reflects how you experience your “inner-self” and your “outer-self” in one combined form.
  13. Creative Story: Tell something which you have never been able to tell about yourself through creative photography.
  14. Overlapping Images: Mix images from two or more photographs to create a new image that helps to externalize a thought or feeling.
  15. Photo-book: Create a book using photographs and/or art media, which tells a significant story.
  16. First Memory Photo: Take your first memory and create a photographic image of it.
  17. Dream photo: Create a photographic image of a dream.
  18. New Environment Photo: Take a photograph of yourself or someone else and remove it from the original background. Then, select a new photo of a different environment and move your original image onto the new background.
  19. Creative Timeline: Take a series of photographs of yourself at different ages and place them into a new background. Elaborate the spaces between each image to represent aspects of your life from that period of time.
  20. CD Cover: Design a cover for your first CD.
  21. Book Design: Create a title for a book about your life and design a cover for it.
  22. Poem: Create a poem that is about your life and illustrate it through photography.
  23. Personal Myth: Develop your personal myth and illustrate it through photography.
  24. Self-Image Polarities: Take a full body photo of yourself and change it into your most “ideal self” or most despicable self.
  25. Image Reconfiguration: Take photos of two people and merge them together and place them on a different background.
  26. Creatively Explore: Image transfer media
  27. Creatively Explore: Digital transparent media
  28. Blend Images: Take two or more images and locate them on a new background. Use the “smudge” and “clone” tools to merge the forms.

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