Resilience is an excellent thing to strive for in this complex era. This project invites viewers to create a 30 day visual journal to cultivate hope, momentum, and postivie self regard in a low pressure, low key way. This video introduces ideas from the field of psychology who contributed to our understanding of well being.
Embracing TIME through Creative Art Expression
How do we create a sense of control when things feel our of control? Engaing in a creative project and narrowing down time to embrace the things we can control is a great way to start. These instructional videos offer a simple format to use collage material for creative self expression.
EMDR and Creative Arts Therapies
I am writing this post to announce the publication of a new book EMDR and Creative Arts Therapies that I co-edited and co-wrote. This book is a a collaborative effort of many pioneers in the creative arts therapies field. For therapists who are trained in EMDR and looking for creative avenues to support the work they do, you will LOVE this book. This is the first and only book written on the topic of using creativity to enhance EMDR therapy. We are so very happy to share our ideas with the mental health field.
Art Therapy and Community
Resilience, COVID-19 and Creativity
Art Therapy and COVID-19
Substance Abuse Recovery. Let’s Get Creative.
We drink a lot. We, meaning people in the 21st century, people during pandemics (this is being written during the COVID-19 pandemic), people in distress, people hanging out with their pals, people everywhere. As a therapist who has worked in the mental health world for decades, I have had a front seat to observing this tremendous growth in addiction issues, especially women. Oh my.
I don’t usually write blog posts around a book, but the book pictured above, called, Quit Like a Woman by Holly Whitaker is by far the VERY BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ ON SUBSTANCE ABUSE RECOVERY. I have read TONS of books, led hundreds upon hundreds of art therapy groups in rehab places over the years, and met with people in all different stages of recovery. There are a ton of great ideas out there, but this book is different. It includes loads of disturbing facts about the alcohol industry, loads of information about how alcohol negatively impacts a woman’s body, why AA isn’t always the best choice for women, and loads of information that can help you be an informed individual as you navigate our super complicated world.
Please consider buying this book for yourself, a friend, or a family member. Please consider having that uncomfy conversation with a loved one if you think they have a problem. Please consider having the uncomfy conversation with yourself if you think you have a problem. Sobriety is a beautiful thing, and trending.
Make a Zine
Zines are cool. If you are unfamiliar with this excellent avenue for making art and communicating ideas, please follow the quick instructional video. Zines have been a popular art form since the 1930s, and offer a simple medium for art making. Your mini booklets can be can be replicated with a copier (just unfold your book after you design it, copy it, and fold it back up).
Be creative, tell your story, and communicate your ideas. Our world so complicated these days, externalizing our inner dialogue can be very therapeutic. Using a small space to express your thoughts and emotions is less overwhelming than a giant blank journal or empty canvas. Unleash your inner creativity, express your thoughts, and share your emotions with your loved ones. Chances are high they might be experiencing the same emotions in these strange times.
If you want to learn more about making zines, check out these books:
Mother’s Day DIY. Five easy-to-make Gifts during COVID-19
Mother’s Day 2020 in this Sunday, May 10th (in the US) might look and feel a lot different than in previous years. Let’s get creative and tap into our DIY resourceful side to create something awesome for your loved one. Don’t let an empty bank account, semi closed cities, or social distancing regulations ruin your mom’s special day. Here are five easy projects to make with things around your home:
Painted Rocks for a Garden
This project requires rocks and permanent markers such as a Sharpie pen. If you do not have rocks outside of your home, this migth require a scavenger hunt to a local park or trail. Please search for smooth rocks, and embellish it with positive words, repeated patterns or inspirational quotes. If your mom is stuck at home, and missing you and her grandchildren, she might be thrilled to find a pile of hand decorated rocks in her garden. If you are feeling super crafty, acrylic paints can work great as well.
3D Hand Image
Your mom loves your hands. Your mom loves her grandchildren’s hands too. Don’t forget, she MADE your hands when she was busy making you, and then held them a lot when you were tiny, and perhaps when you were not so tiny. Hugs and hand holding are somthing humans are really missing since social distancing became the norm. This very easy and very cool project can be done by a small child or an adult hoping to make their moms and grandmothers feel the love.
Make Mom a Reusable Cloth Mask
Masks are becoming an essential part of our lives this season. Can you follow these instructions to make you mom a super cool and very easy to make mask?
Cool COVID-19 Mother’s Day Card and Poem
Sometimes words, a card, or a poem can make your mom or special person in your life feel amazing. Sometimes expressing gratitude towards our loved ones can be far more impactful than just another gift. Be brave, write something from your heart and then be creative by folding in a cool way!
Seeds for a Garden and a Tiny Planter
If your only outings these days are to the grocery store, there are TONS of great gifts to be found such as seeds. If you have time and energy to create a tiny planter and throw in a bag of dirt, you are giving a gift and offering a fun little activity for your momma. Tiny is in. Note- the seed will probably have to be transferred to something larger after it sprouts, but starting with a tiny container is pretty fab.
Coronavirus Coloring Page
Remember the recent coloring book craze for adults? Although the trend faded, now might be a great time to return to the simple activity of coloring. This repetitive, bilateral act can serve as a very powerful medium and a self soothing activity. Starting and completing something simple can also be helpful to people who are living through something chaotic without an end in sight.
This image of small mandalas was created to be appealing to all ages, and across cultures. Each circle looks like a microscopic Coronavirus. Humor, even during the darkest of times is essential. For seasoned therapists, we can attest to the importance of keeping low levels of humor accessible during traumatic moments and through processing trauma.
The act of anthropomorphizing or managing something that feels unmanageable can also help a person truly get a hold of or own the thing that feels overwhelming. At this writing, one third of the human race is experiencing some form of a quarantine to stop the spread of the COVID-19/Coronavirus. It might be impossible to make sense of such a staggering number. Pulling back a bit to get some perspective is really important. Coloring, and other forms of self care is a great way to “pull back” a bit. Trying to fall back on activities we normally find stimulating might be too overwhelming if you are in a state of shock. I have found that turning off the news for small increments of time can also be helpful.
This coloring sheet can also be a great tool to share with children. Children need to understand what is happening around them. If they are not informed in any way, they might create their own narrative, and wonder if they caused all of the changes they are seeing at home. If they have too much information, they can be overwhelmed. Coloring, and using a playful Coronavirus image might be helpful for gently explaining this experience, and offering an opportunity for them to express their emotions.
Please print the image above. As you color the picture, please spend time figuring out your small piece of this experience. Print a few copies to share with your housemates or whomever you are with in your home. This will end. We cannot stay home forever. When we return to our active worlds, we will be wiser, kinder, and more appreciative of the everyday things we might have taken for granted a few weeks ago.