Tag Archives: Art therapy

When Arts, CBT and Trauma Decided to Form a Partnership

Posted by: Priya Senroy on July 16, 2015 11:52 am

Summer is fireading-767919_640nally here and I am excited about connecting my neurotransmitters with different evidence based practices so that I can inject different creative ideas combined with psychotherapeutic models.

So it’s time to go back to the virtual library and read voraciously. I came across these narrations: ” Jogging the Cogs: Trauma-Focused Art Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Sexually Abused Children” by Pifalo, T. (2007), and “Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association”, 24(4), 170-75; .

What I found interesting was the partnership of using creative art, trauma work and CBT. Even through it’s for a specific population, I am sure that it can be easily translated with any group as long as we understand the dynamic of the partnership. As I expand my tool box of activities and facilitation repertoire, I have come to realize that the modality of creative arts is flexible enough to absorb, modify and then deliver itself in a variety of ways using theories from different psychotherapeutic modalities. In my work using CBT, I often use worksheets as homework journaling thoughts and have found that words can sometimes be cumbersome and overwhelming for some. And I have been thinking on how to make it more accessible and interactive so that clients are not perturbed by the wordiness of the intervention. And that’s where creative arts come in as a value-added aspect of creative self-expression. When I use movement or a poetry or a piece of art or doodle as a way to record and translate the words into personal narratives, it seems to offer a channel for expression of experiences, and also supports the sensory-based understanding of how both the mind and body respond to anxiety and stress. And doodlefrom the book, I have gathered that art plus CBT plus trauma work have potential for bridging the gaps between the conscious and the unconscious. Pifalo who has conducted a number of research studies on trauma, using CBT and art therapy concludes the following:

“The visual nature of traumatic memory, the concrete graphic approach of art therapy, and the underlying structure of the cognitive behavioral approach create a powerful, efficient treatment model within which to achieve the goals of trauma focused therapy” (p.175).

By: Priya Senroy

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Sand, Story and Solidarity: Finding Joy and Meaning in Clinical Work

Posted by: Bonney Elliott on May 4, 2015 9:06 am

My work life is split between coaching cancer patients and their families, and private general psychotherapy practice. In both domains, the clients who come to see me are often in the midst of major life transitions. Their stories can be heart wrenching. I could easily get lost in their suffering, Take it on and bring it home with me. Or worse, become so detached that it ceases to affect me at all. Both alternatives would impact my wellbeing and my longevity as a practitioner. There is no perfect formula for keeping the fire in the belly alive in my clinical work. Mitigating compassion fatigue is not simply about finding the perfect job and job/life balance, or staying healthy through self-care, nurturing relationships and mindfulness. It is about finding joy and meaning in the work I do.

fantasy-221242_640The three pillars of my clinical practice are sand, story and solidarity. Sand represents the Sand Tray Therapy that brings creativity, joy and lightness to the work, even with clients who have experienced significant trauma. Story represents Narrative Therapy and my own writing, which help me to find truth and beauty in client’s stories. Solidarity comes from the practitioner community that I belong to, my lifeboat of support. I meet with like-minded practitioners regularly, through group supervision and collaborative practice groups. Having a therapeutic community sustains my practice, keeps me grounded and bridges the isolation of clinical work. Continue reading

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Community Art Therapy

Posted by: Priya Senroy on March 27, 2015 12:00 pm

day-of-the-dead-568012_640Happy Spring everyone!!!

I can smell, it, see it, touch it…but I can’t feel it in the recent chill spell….yet I am optimistic that “it” is just round the corner…. And the only place where I can see the effects of seasonal changes are in my backyard. The white is getting replaced by brown and yellow shades, the dark browns are slowly turning color and the dead are rising again. Very metaphoric especially with Easter round the corner.

Speaking of death, I saw an interesting show on the television about a well known Mexican holiday called Los Dias de los Muertos. It is held on November 1st and November 2nd. The displays and the showcasing that were shown were seriously a sensory overload. Men and women decorate breads, paper cutouts, dancing skeletons, and sugar skull candies. Artistically crafted caskets and altars are usually displayed in the community to honor the dead.

Continue reading

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Psychological Benefits of Art Therapy

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on February 28, 2012 10:43 am

“Beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities…” ~ Plato

As parents, when our child falls ill, or  is prone to a disorder or a discomfort; we are diligent to seek for remedies and constructive answers to aide in that time of discomfort.   As a parent, I can reassure you that I will do everything in my power to gain the best care for my child’s needs.

Whether we are searching for answers for the physical or the psychological; as parents we yearn for positively constructive remedies to solve our child’s discomforts.

Art therapy is one of many modalities that is capable of helping guide your child to health and happiness. Art therapy is an expressive language of the conscious and the unconscious minds.    The pursuit of art can be accomplished through various mediums including:  sculpting, drawing, mosaics, painting, clay making, music and variety of art modalities.  Art therapy is instrumental in assessing and treating a variety of psychological, as well as, physically disorders.

Continue reading

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA