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March 10, 2006

creata: self-care for therapists

by gl. at 11:41 pm

this is the eighth in a series of posts about workshops sponsored by CREATA during Creative Arts Therapy week. just three more to go! session date mar09.

i went to this session in part because i figured some of it would be adaptable to artist's way participants, as one of the artist's way goals is learning how to treat yourself well. checkov says, "if you want to work on your art, work on your life," and i say that if you want to explore creative self expression, first you need a self to express. but i also went because i know the presenter and after recovering from a major surgery, i was glad to see her up & around again.

many places have a culture of competitive deprivation: who's working hardest? who's staying latest? who's too busy to take sick leave or vacation? certainly i did my share of that at csusm before i fled san diego. what would happen if we competed for self-care? apparently one of the other participants had a 3-month focus at her workplace: everyone got charts & stars & rewards, along with breaks for yoga and access to massage. i'm alternately amused and appalled that while i treat myself better than i did when i was in academic technology, i'm still incredibly busy, working from deadline to deadline, rarely stopping to rest or dream (or, um, exercise). blogging is a form of self-care for me: not only does it help keep my creativity newtonian, but it forces me to acknowledge everything i've done so far, giving myself credit for what i have done instead focusing on what i haven't done.

i like the way this was worded: consider setbacks a form of feedback rather than failure. and i smiled today when i realized that if i was going to attend a workshop w/ plenty of glue sticks & neatly-labeled supplies, this would be the place.

the experiential exercise was creating a "permission slip" for us to use when we needed it. instead, i created several cards that could be tucked away into my daily file or for sven to set gently atop celeste: "can gretchin come out to play?" "get out of jail free," "breathe," "powell butte misses you," "stop and smell the roses." i could see creating a pack (31?) of these to make sure i do something each day. they're really kind of cute, sort of like oblique permissions.

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melanie, you would have really liked this session because the presenter brought all her art journals to share and they were very good. one of them was a journal inspired by lynda barry's one! hundred! demons!. she also recommended twyla tharp's the creative habit which has been on my wishlist for a while now, and visual journaling: going deeper than words, which is the first visual journal book i had seen and my artist's way facilitator pamela used. also: what is art for?, art is a way of knowing and creativity: flow and the psychology of discovery and invention.

posted by gl. | March 10, 2006 11:41 PM | categories: artist's way, classes & workshops