Ideas and Resources

Ideas and Resources

A place to exchange ideas and search for resources.
What is the deal with Tetris?
This Fabulous Montreal Based Program Needs Your Support – Vote!

This Fabulous Montreal Based Program Needs Your Support – Vote!

Posted by: on Oct 4, 2012 | No Comments

The Alzheimer Society of Montreal needs your help! Their activity centers are threatening to close as a result of difficult financial times. This respite program, which includes art therapy, is reaching out and asking people to vote for their activity center project that will give them funding to keep them open. More importantly, the people with Alzheimer’s and their families desperately need your help and this is the place where miracles happen.

A vote a day can save them from closing their doors, I ask that you check out the link below, register (really easy…15 seconds) and vote daily or as often as you can. Unfortunately it is much like a “popularity contest” but well worth it if they win. You can share the link on Facebook too as I have done, creating even greater awareness and support…remember a vote a day until the end of November, please try to do it as often as you can this is an opportunity where the simple click of a button can make a huge difference!

Vote Now!

(this text is an excerpt from an email by Dayna M)

An Asperger’s Story Tonight

Posted by: on Sep 27, 2012 | No Comments

NBC is airing a profile of David Finch, on Rock Center with Brian Williams tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern / 9 p.m. Central. The ten-minute segment will relate his success story with Asperger’s Syndrome, marriage, and fatherhood.

Watch the trailer

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Infographic: The Cost of Education

Infographic: The Cost of Education

Posted by: on Sep 11, 2012 | No Comments

This is an advertisement for an online college…but I thought it was interesting. Again, the least likely people to find a job are those who studied Clinical Psychology.

I’d like to discuss a few points brought up in this info graphic. Firstly, I suspect that there are more bartenders and waitresses than engineers, physicists, chemists and mathematicians because we’re not graduating enough people in those fields – not because there’s a lack of jobs for technically skilled people.

And then the last line – “It’s a tough world out there.You might as well stay at home” – Yeah…it’s a tough world alright. So, choose your career path wisely, gain marketable skills either through school (and not necessarily an online school…) or work and stay out of debt. You’ll be way ahead of most and I even bet you’d be able move out of your parents home.

For the Love of the Maslins

Posted by: on Sep 1, 2012 | No Comments

I want to apologize for not writing in over a month. I’ve been overseeing a massive website redesign project at work. Between that and the twins, I’ve hardly drifted to the surface of life outside my insular bubble.

But, life has a funny way of reminding you to stay in the moment and be grateful for all that you have.

An old gradschool classmate, Abby Sullivan Maslin, a Dance Movement Therapist who is now working as a teacher in Washington D.C. experienced the unthinkable. About 2 weeks ago her husband was brutally attacked while walking home after a boys night out in his D.C neighborhood in Capital Hill. He wasn’t found for 8 hours and sustained major brain and bodily injouries that were exasterbated by the time that passed between the beating and the arrival of an emergency response team. Abby is struggling to cope, as she also tries to care for her young son Jack, who is just shy of 2 years old.

With no witnesses, Abby reached out to the media in a attempt to find somehow who may have knowledge of what happened that night.

As she processes all that has happened, Abby has been posting updates on her Facebook page, but recently just started a blog, which I want to share with you: For the Love of the Maslins. Your support and prayers are needed. Friends started a fundraising website so that money will hopefully not be a concern as this family struggles to survive.

Your help is much appreciated.

The Fake Child Artists of Gaza?

The Fake Child Artists of Gaza?

Posted by: on Jul 16, 2012 | 2 Comments

A blogger who calls himself Elder of Ziyon alleges that a traveling exhibition of children’s artwork depicting “A Child’s View of Gaza” made during art therapy sessions, are in fact not drawn by children at all. He lays out his case:

  1. The quality of the artwork does not correspond to the age of the child who drew the picture.
    • But no age was listed in the displayed photos.
  2. Experts all agree that the artwork looks as though it was created by adults.
    • But the names of those experts are not included in the post.
  3. These drawings were created during art therapy sessions.
    • But no art therapist(s) are named as the facilitator.
  4. The artwork is not signed, which is a strange thing for a child to do.
    • Maybe. But, there maybe a cultural reason for this, or another reason – ie: the art therapist asked that they not sign their artwork for confidentiality purposes. After all, this exhibit is a traveling one.

Does anyone have any information on the art therapist(s) involved in this exhibit? I wrote an email to CJPME, the organization hosting this event, asking for more information.

To Elder of Ziyon: Your claims maybe true. But, you need to post your sources when making such claims to add credibility to what you’re saying. Who are the experts you consulted? Why not consult an art therapist? How did you find out the age of the child who created the artwork?

Make: Vehicle of Change

Make: Vehicle of Change

Posted by: on Jul 12, 2012 | No Comments

Check out another art as therapy related project that needs a helping hand. Ayesha, an artist, and her husband Zach have entered into a contest to win $30K to jump start their project – a mobile art making van.

To learn more about their dream to bring art to all, check out the video and if you like what they’re up to, then vote!

Interesting Art Therapy Related Project on Kickstarter

Posted by: on Jul 3, 2012 | No Comments

Gabrielle Wenonah Wriborg is hoping to get funding for her self-illustration project on Kickstarter.

So you can make an informed decision about her project, Zenobia and the Seven Curses, I asked her to explain how this project came about and how she thinks this tool would be helpful within an art therapy session.

When I first walked into my therapist’s office, I was drowning in a sea of depression so vast I could no longer see the shoreline. That day she became a lighthouse far off in the distance; thus began my swim to a shore that did not yet exist. She soon determined that I had post-traumatic stress disorder due to the numerous trauma inducing events I had experienced during my lifetime. We tried a variety of therapeutic methods, but in my opinion, the most helpful was art therapy, because it uncovered thoughts, feelings, and memories that did not surface through dialoguing and journaling. The use of art as a therapeutic tool made my thoughts, feelings, and memories visible which in turn made them tangible. This tangibility made it possible for me to explore, accept, and eventually cope with these concepts. I fondly remember kneeling on my kitchen floor over long sheets of craft paper and pots of paints documenting my childhood traumas in vibrant colors or sitting in therapy sessions creating
intricate mandalas representing my inner emotions of the moment. I still uncover these artifacts of my healing from time to time and marvel at their intense emotional symbolism and remember how each of these made that metaphorical shoreline slowly come into view.

After many years of therapy, I started working on my Bachelor’s degree. It was during my junior year that I wrote an autobiographical fairy tale for my Women’s Studies class as a final project titled “Gabrielle and the Seven Curses: A Suburban Fairy Tale.” It tells the fantastical story of how I was cursed, the traumatic events I endured due to the curses, and how I found my happily ever after through therapy. Part of the final grade was to present the project to the class. That was the first time I told my
story to a stranger, let alone a room full of them. I was terrified, but afterwards, I felt a sense of relief, accomplishment, and most importantly, a sense of closure. For years, I wanted to do something more with the story, because I knew it was a powerful tale of survival. In 2010, I started turning the fairy tale
into a comic book. I changed the title to “Zenobia and the Seven Curses” and began to rewrite the story. I kept the basic framework, but I changed the names of the innocent and the not so innocent and added more colorful descriptions and created illustrations. This version remains unfinished, but it was one step closer to the present incarnation of the fairy tale.

Last summer I started working on my M.Ed. in Mathematics education. At that time I was also creating a bi-weekly digital comic strip and working on a series of self-portraits using photography as my medium. Then one day, I could not create. I had an artist’s block, and this loss of creativity lasted for months on end. As I suffered creatively, Zenobia came back into my thoughts as she often does when I feel sad. Around the same time, I became enamored with Kickstarter, an internet based crowd-funding platform for creative projects. The two thoughts became enmeshed. I realized instead of illustrating the story, I should allow the reader to illustrate the story, and I could raise the money to publish the “illustrate-it” book through Kickstarter. It originally occurred to me that this would be an excellent tool for artists who were suffering creative blocks like I was, because it is a guided sketchbook. Then I realized, due to the subject matter, it would be extremely beneficial in an art therapy setting with PTSD patients like myself or any variety of survivors.

While I am not an art therapist and my only real experience with art therapy is as a patient, I really think that other patients would benefit from “Zenobia and the Seven Curses” because they would be able to relate to the subject matter. The seven curses that Zenobia suffers and ultimately survives are seven types of traumatic events with which many patients would be able to connect. Furthermore, I feel “Zenobia and the Seven Curses” could help a patient feel some form of companionship through the therapeutic process. Besides occasionally being in a group therapy setting, I often felt alone in my therapy because no matter how hard they tried, my friends and family had no clue what I was really going through. It would have been nice to have had the reassurance of a peer like Zenobia, even if she was fictional. Since much of my trauma was based in my childhood, I think the fact that this story is written in the style of a fairy tale, it speaks to my inner child, Little Gabi, as my therapist often referred
to her. Therefore, I truly feel “Zenobia and the Seven Curses” could really help art therapy patients as they traverse the often murky process of healing.

“Zenobia and the Seven Curses” follows Zenobia DeHaven-Reynard from birth through her early adulthood. Shortly after her birth, Zenobia is bestowed six blessings by the Fair Matriarchs and seven curses by the Not-So-Fair Matriarchs of her family. Zenobia begins her suffering at the tender age of three with the curse of innocence lost due to an unknown early childhood trauma understood to be of a sexual nature. A year later she suffers the curse of a witch which represents separation of parents, specifically due to infidelity on the part of her father. At the age of five she suffers the curse of fire where she narrowly escapes a house fire which destroys everything inside the home. She then enters her early teenage years and suffers the curse of silence which is invoked by being sexually abused by a trusted family friend. Around the same time period, she suffers the curse of poison which symbolizes drug addiction. She also suffers the curse of failing health due to a congenital heart defect which leads to open-heart surgery. Finally she enters early adulthood and suffers the curse of a loveless union where she finds herself living in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship which is steeped in drug and alcohol abuse. She eventually finds her way into therapy, learns how to cope with her curses, and ultimately finds her version of happily ever after.

I launched the “Zenobia and the Seven Curses” project on Kickstarter on June 11. The project is running for 42 days, ending on July 23. Kickstarter is an all or nothing funding platform. My goal is to raise $3500 in order to print 500 copies of the finished book. There are donation levels ranging from $1 to $1000. Every donation is rewarded with items related to the book. If the project is successful, I am donating 50 books to the organization through which I received therapy services, SAFE Homes Rape Crisis Coalition of Spartanburg, SC. They will be using these copies in their therapy program with current and future patients. There are donation levels which allow project backers to donate extra copies to this same organization. I have already started laying out the book. Every odd page is blank yet framed for the purposes of illustration. It looks like the final product will be a paperback book about 50 pages in length with the dimensions of 8 x 10 inches. You can find more information on my website or on the project page.

Art Therapy and Its Symbols

Posted by: on Jul 2, 2012 | One Comment

We have a tendency to think that Art Therapy uses “symbols” rather than “words”, as in “Talk Therapy.” I want to remind us that words are symbols too—really language is a staggeringly complex system of spoken and written metaphors that we can no longer recognize as metaphors.

What an excellent point that Jim Nolan makes about the shortcut description many art therapists use to describe what we do. It makes me want to rethink my elevator speech to be more accurate. Wittgenstein would be overjoyed about this discussion!

Southwestern College Embraces Photo Therapy

Posted by: on Jun 29, 2012 | No Comments

Judy Weiser is now an Adjunct Faculty member in Counseling and Art Therapy/Counseling at Southwestern College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Congratulations to all!

An introduction to Judy and her work: