The Art of Art Therapy Shapeshifting

Shapeshifting, also known as transmorgrification and transformation, is found throughout the realms of myth and folklore. Art therapy, a field that embraces the symbolic world and the process of transformation, has its own shapeshifting tales to tell, too.

Music Therapy Activities Wiki

Learn more about music therapy, the value of music therapists and how music therapists envision and develop music therapy strategies. MusicTherapyActivities.Wikia.com is an encyclopedic collection of therapeutic music activities, indexed by goal and objective—and it will help you understand more about the range of this dynamic approach to health.

Oliver Sacks and Creative Arts Therapies

Many colleagues in the fields of creative arts therapies were sad to read Oliver Sacks’ recent and poignant essay in the Op-Ed section of The New York Times about the return of his cancer and his thoughts about death. And here's why his body of work continues to impact the fields of art therapy, music therapy, and other expressive therapies.

Don Jones: Make Art (Therapy), Not War

Don Jones was part of a unique generation of individuals who simultaneously arrived at the idea of “art therapy" in the 1940s. His legacy and impact on mental health practice began when he became conscientious objector during World War II; that juncture not only changed his life, it set him on a path to help found a new field and profession.

Getting into the Flow for the New Year

Whether you call it getting into your creative zone or flow, make sure you make it part of your health and wellness practice in the new year. Give yourself time to do what you love and reap the benefits of optimal experiences.

Expressive Arts and Resilience: Hope for Ferguson

Resilience can be defined as having flexibility and strength in the face of stress and having what is needed to overcome adversity, learn from life experiences, and move on with vitality and passion. But can we learn from what we know about resiliency to help a community challenged by upheaval and historical trauma heal?

Children’s Art as Visual Narrative

The refugee youth of Burma who have experienced displacement, violence, war, human trafficking, and other atrocities clearly show us how visual narratives tell a story when words cannot. Their creative work is also a call to mobilize peace building efforts in Burma and capitalizes on art expression as way to communicate hopes and dreams of reparation and renewal.

Creative Art Therapies: Health or Mental Health Professions?

Are the creative arts therapies [art, music and dance/movement therapy] mental health or allied health professions? The answer may be “both,” but in truth, the answer is "it's complicated." As the Scarecrow said, "This way is a very nice way." And "It's pleasant down that way, too." "Of course, some people do go both ways."

Art Therapy + CBT Treats Panic Disorder--Maybe

Does art-based therapy plus cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) reduce symptoms in panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder? The answer is a very tentative "maybe" according to a recent study's findings. Despite the limited participant size and other limitations, it's a study worth considering for many reasons.

Expressive Arts Therapy: A Creative Career Path

In past posts, I have explored and explained art therapy and the creative arts therapies as a career paths. But there is another career pathway that the “creative therapist” may want to consider as an option; it’s called an expressive arts therapist and it involves using all the arts to help clients communicate, express, explore and make meaning.

Creative Arts Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy

Creative arts therapies or expressive arts therapy are dynamic, participatory approaches that have been around for more than 70 years. Here is a basic guide to these methods that capitalize on nonverbal expression of thoughts and feelings as a central part of therapy and whole-brain intervention.

Artist in Healthcare Certification

The arts [art, music, dance, creative writing and performance] in healthcare have a long history in hospital settings. Now artists who work in these settings are embarking on their own certification to validate their work in hospitals. Here's the latest news on the development of this credential and why it is emerging in the array of expressive arts services in medicine

Art Therapy’s Achilles Heel

The therapeutic use of the creative process of art making is not only found in art therapist-driven services, but is in fact ubiquitous. So if art making is an effective self-help experience, where does that leave art therapists? Art therapy has an Achilles heel and it is a real pain lately.

Calm Down and Get Your Zentangle On

Zentangle teaches us not to rush and to take good care of ourselves in the present moment. It's simple, it's soothing, and it's a form of creative aimlessness that teaches us to enjoy the here and now and trust the process.

Edith Kramer: Art (Therapy) Tells the Truth

For art therapy icon Edith Kramer “art tells the truth.” Her death marks the end of an era in the field of art therapy, but it is her truth that will always remind me that art and the creative process are worth exploring in every waking moment of one’s life.

So You Want to Be an Adjunct Art Therapy Professor

Want to be an adjunct professor of art therapy? It is rewarding work, but it has also been called "the fast-food worker of the academic world." Here is what you need to know about being an adjunct professor in the field of art therapy—and a heads-up on the current movement to unionize the profession.

Doodling Your Way to a More Mindful Life

Doodling is a part sensory, part narrative and a little bit of Zen meditation. It's a whole brain activity—spontaneous, at times unconscious, self-soothing, satisfying, exploratory, memory-enhancing, and mindful. And you ought to be doodling right now, it's good for you.

Visual Journaling as Self-Care in the New Year

It’s the start of a new year and it’s a good time to begin or renew a journaling practice. Because I believe that creative expression is as much of a wellness practice as good nutrition and exercise, here is a free art therapy and visual journaling download to get you started.

Altered Book and Visual Journaling

The previous three posts I shared how visual journaling assists emotional reparation and supports self-regulation and stress reduction and some popular visual journaling prompts used in art therapy. One of these prompts is the “altered book," a creative medium for re-authoring the dominant stories of your life.

Top Ten Art Therapy Visual Journaling Prompts

In the tradition of the "Top Ten Coolest Art Therapy Interventions," here is a list of the more popular visual journaling prompts used in art therapy, followed by some general guidelines for applying these strategies to your own self-expression and exploration.

Visual Journaling: An Art Therapy Historical Perspective

Visual journaling is used in service of well-being in a variety of ways: reducing stress, self-regulation, self-exploration, and meaning-making. Historically, two art therapy concepts stand out in visual journaling-- non-dominant hand drawing and the role of intention in image making.

Visual Journaling, Self-Regulation and Stress Reduction

Visual journaling [aka art journaling] is a practice that has a long history among artists. Because of its history in art and psychiatry, visual/art journaling has also become one of the basic methods used in art therapy for stress reduction and self-regulation, particularly for individuals who are recovering from trauma or loss.

Syrian Children's Drawings, Photography, and Stories

Photographers David Gross and Mieke Strand are planning to travel to Syrian refugee camps in Turkey, collect drawings by Syrian refugee kids, and pair those with photographic portraits and interviews. The goal of the project is to produce a free multi-media e-book in order to call attention to the refugee situation and the power of art therapy and photojournalism.

Creative Art Therapy: Brain-Wise Approaches to Violence

Creative arts therapies have emerged in mental health and healthcare as an essential part of the spectrum of interventions that mediate the psychosocial and, in particular, the body’s reactions to violent acts.

Art Therapy, Children and Interpersonal Violence

When I first started to work with children who had experienced interpersonal violence, I was struck by the theme of monsters in their art expressions. For children who have experienced interpersonal violence, these monsters often take on both idiosyncratic and universal meanings.

Creative Art Therapy and Attachment Work: Part Two

In terms of attachment work, creative arts therapies enhance affect regulation and the interpersonal neurobiology of positive relationships. Because these approaches involve right hemisphere dominance, they are beneficial to attachment work where “right-brain-to-right-brain” and sensory-based connections between therapist and client are essential.

Creative Art Therapy and Attachment Work

Just as attachment theory continues to be informed by the growing understanding of the brain, applications of the creative arts therapies are being clarified within the context of neuroscience and psychobiology. This two-part article reviews five key areas in creative arts therapies and attachment.

Art Therapy: The Movie

An art therapist and filmmaker are combining talents to develop a film on art therapy that intends not only to be informative, but also inspirational. And it is not your typical "talking heads" documentary.

Art Therapy and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

What this art therapist learned first hand about traumatic brain injury and how and why art therapy should be part of your own TBI recovery plan.

A Tuition-Free Art Therapy Education

Imagine the excitement when a tuition-free distance learning opportunity for art therapy graduate level education suddenly appeared on the horizon. Yes, it's true, but what's the catch?

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