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March 7, 2006

creata: intro to art therapy

by gl. at 12:24 am

this is the first in a series of posts about workshops sponsored by CREATA during Creative Arts Therapy week. session date mar06.

this year we're at the kennedy school, and it's great to have everything in one location. and with mcmenamin's emphasis on art, this is a pretty ideal space. i've gone to CAT week for three years now (i went to the first one the first year i moved to portland!) and even just last year we all fit around a conference table at the davis business center. this year there are consistently about 35 people in the room for each session (4 sessions today).

we began by introducing ourselves, and i'm so glad creative job club has helped me hone my introductory speech. a surprising number of people are here just for the continuing education credits and another surprising number of people said things like "i don't have a creative bone in my body," or stated they weren't artistic, which made me wince. if the art therapist doesn't believe, who will?

i was disheartened when the very first question from the audience was "can you call yourself an art therapist without a degree?" because if you've paid $30,000 for your art therapy degree from marylhurst, you're not going to say yes! this is a very touchy subject for art therapists, who are trying to pass licensure laws to prevent exactly this sort of thing, which is why i try to be clear that I Am Not A Therapist though i believe Art Is Therapeutic. anyway, for this question to be the first one asked felt like it set a defensive tone for the rest of the workshop and the presenter brought it up more than once during the presentation.

speaking of which, the presenter for this session was low affect and read frequently from her notes; her handouts had no citations or bibliography. she mentioned a couple of times that she doesn't like working with teens, never expected to be doing it, but that's what she's currently doing. a shaky way to begin the morning.

the experiental exercise was to pick a medium you don't usually work with (in my case it was markers) and draw a representation of your name. after initally choosing to represent my name with letters (because hey, i like letters!), i took another piece of paper and worked w/ my intial signature in a sort of fractal pattern:

posted by gl. | March 7, 2006 12:24 AM | categories: classes & workshops