Founder of Autism Movement Therapy® Inc. Joanne Lara will be in the UK this April to run AMT® certification workshops that will be open to ALL. With no dance experience required to participate the author of Autism Movement Therapy® Method: Waking up the Brain! will guide attendees through this unique program that outlines the functions of the brain specifically pertinent to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and shows how music and independent movement can help strengthen the body and brain connection. This practical and positive programme will give all comers the techniques needed to use AMT® effectively in a range of environments and will provide all who complete the course with a certificate.
This includes information on our new and bestselling titles such as ‘Mindfulness and the Arts Therapies’ by Laury Rappaport and ‘Using Art Therapy with Diverse Populations’ by Paula Howie. This range includes practical books for professionals, manuals on how to incorporate creative approaches into practice as well as guides for individuals who are themselves affected.
To receive a free copy of the catalogue, please sign up for our mailing list and we’ll get one out to you right away. You may also request multiple copies to share with friends, family, colleagues and clients–simply note how many copies you would like (up to 20) in the ‘any additional comments’ box on the sign-up form.
We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to get more information about our outstanding new titles such as ‘Presence and Process in Expressive Arts Work’ by Herbert Eberhart. The catalogue also features information on bestselling titles such as ‘A Guide to Research Ethics for Art Therapists & Health Practitioners’ by Camilla Farrant and ‘The Expressive Arts Activity Book: A Resource for Professionals’ by Suzanne Darley.
To request a copy of the JKP complete catalogue of books on Art Therapy, please click here to fill out our sign-up sheet. Please be sure to click any additional areas of interest as well. You should receive a copy of the catalogue within two weeks.
In this extract taken from Mindfulness and the Arts Therapies, edited by Laury Rappaport, Pat B. Allen introduces the way in which mindfulness is incorporated into the Open Studio Process, and describes the challenges and rewards of using this process with a group of adolescent boys. She explains her own reaction when the boys were invited to provide their own music for the art-making portion of a session, and how she found she could rely on the creative process as a positive form of support.
Our latest catalogue of new and bestselling books on Music Therapy is now available to view online, including new titles ‘Music Technology in Therapeutic and Health Settings’ by Wendy Magee, ‘Musical Encounters with Dying’ by Islene Runningdeer, and ‘Mindfulness and the Arts Therapies’ by Laury Rappaport.
You can simply click on any title or cover for more information or to buy.
Kate Thompson is a BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor and Supervisor in private practice, and a professional member of Lapidus UK. In 2010, she wrote Therapeutic Journal Writing as part of the JKP Writing for Personal Development Series.
In this short article, Kate shares her thoughts on process writing and includes some handy notes on writing for yourself and with a group.
My own journey from childhood diary writing in the 1960s to journal therapist in the 21st century has indeed been an almost lifelong process. This journey continues today, propelling me into the modern world of blogs and internet therapy which in some ways is a very natural development from journal writing.
I start from the premise that writing is always both a creative and a therapeutic act. I know that many people, including some of our greatest writers past and present, would agree with me, but others would not. I need to emphasise that therapeutic journal writing (almost a tautology, certainly the opposite of an oxymoron) is about process writing rather than product writing.
I have since childhood been one of those who felt ‘compelled’ to write. But I also want to stress that I am an intermittent journaller. I am full of admiration for those who do write every day but I do not – some of my clients write far more than I do.
[NOTE: Journal writing is sometimes referred to as a discipline or practice. One of the Myths of journal writing is:
“you have to do it every day”
You don’t. Often as possible is good, even five minutes counts, but there is no point in setting up unachievable goals – that way ‘failure’ lies and neither our clients nor ourselves need encourage that.]
So I have journalled on and off through childhood, adolescence and adulthood. It is the way I process experience; it is the way I make sense of the world.
Writing the book was a personal and a professional journey. It is the culmination of more than15 years of professional practice. It brings together my twin passions for therapy and literature (I was a reader before I was a writer; I was a student and teacher of literature before I was a therapist). I wrote this book because this was a book I would have liked when I was training as a counsellor. At that time I had no idea that you could (‘were allowed to’) use journal writing as a therapeutic medium with clients. But I did know that it worked for me so it seemed natural to want to try. This book would have legitimized my instincts and given me the confidence to do it openly. Finding Kathleen Adams and The Center for journal Therapy in Colorado told me I was right.
In fact I’ve had three mentors who have encouraged me and supported me in this work:
Kathleen Adams, Gillie Bolton and Emmy van Deurzen.
I thank you all.
The journal container is big. People who come to my workshops or groups often show surprise about how broad the idea of journal writing is – the range of techniques at our disposal goes far beyond the descriptions of ‘what I did yesterday’. Journals can also include art, quotation and project plans as well as personal written stories or reflection leading to healing and growth.
Feedback forms often contain comments such as:
“I had a very narrow definition of journal writing – I know better now.”
I think my favourite comment on a feedback form is:
“I came with very low expectations – they were exceeded.”
I’m sure he meant it kindly.
There is one therapeutic journal technique which completes the reflective loop and does much to promote the integration of experience. It is a way of giving yourself a little written feedback after any journal entry:
The Feedback Loop
Read through your journal entry and then write a couple of sentences:
E.g. When I read this I notice…
When I read this I feel…
This to me is the key to therapeutic journal writing – I encourage anyone who keeps a journal to employ this technique which really completes the loop and can consolidate the insights and learning – you can try this at home immediately.
I always love to hear how people use journaling for themselves and with others, for personal and professional reasons – please tell me your experiences: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2012.
Dr Gillie Bolton is a renowned therapeutic writing practitioner and author of many JKP books, including Write Yourself: Creative Writing and Personal Development.
In this video, Dr Bolton discusses the new book – the latest in the Writing for Therapy or Personal Development series, of which she is also the series Editor – and shares some of the experiences that brought her to the growing field of therapeutic writing. She also shares some of the types of writing exercises that she returns to again and again for her own personal development, and talks about the importance of hearing your own internal mentor.
Copyright © Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2011.
Lindsey Joiner is a Positive Behavior Specialist with Meridian Public School District in Mississippi, USA. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, and Approved Clinical Supervisor. She is the author of the new activities book, The Big Book of Therapeutic Activity Ideas for Children and Teens: Inspiring Arts-Based Activities and Character Education Curricula.
Here, Lindsey discusses how creative activities can work wonders in engaging and motivating children and teens, and improving their enjoyment and attendance in therapeutic sessions.
Tell us about yourself, and how your new book came about.
I currently work in a school setting as behavior specialist. I work with students from preschool through 12th grade who have a variety of behavior problems including defiance, ADHD, depression, autism, abuse/neglect issues, and anxiety. Before coming to the school setting, I worked in a community mental health center, leading and later supervising day treatment group for children and teens of all ages. I also have experience working with individuals with substance abuse and addictions.
When I was fresh out of school and first started working in community mental health, I had no idea what to do for the 2 hour and 5 hour groups that I led each day. The participants were quickly bored with the social skills worksheets or discussions on conflict resolution that I would attempt to use to fill the time. I began to notice how many of the participants would draw and complete art projects during free time. It occurred to me to try to incorporate those interests into our group time. As I began to use more and more creative activities in a therapeutic way, a big change happened in those groups. The participants were more excited, more motivated, and more willing to participate. Attendance and individual progress toward therapeutic goals improved significantly. With this success, I began to incorporate more and more creativity into these therapeutic sessions.
The book evolved as I began to write down some of the activities that I successfully used with children and teens to share with others in presentations and supervision sessions.
In the book you include a very eclectic mix of arts-based activities including film, art, music and books. Why do you think arts-based activities are particularly effective for working therapeutically with children?
In my experience, most children do not respond well to “talk therapy.” They often have difficulty expressing themselves, their thoughts, and their feelings with just words. Arts-based activities provide them with the tools they need to communicate effectively. Children and teens tend to be naturally creative. By providing activities that tap into this creativity, children will become more comfortable with the therapeutic process and are more likely to be actively involved in the counseling process. I have found that it helps many children and teens to have the tangible art creation to use to illustrate the therapeutic concept in the counseling session. The art creation can also be used as a symbol and reminder of the child’s goals and the progress he made through the counseling process long after the counseling sessions have ended. Finally, in my practice, many children and teens who struggle academically in school are often talented and interested in the arts and other creative forms of expression. By utilizing creative activities and lessons, the counselor can provide opportunities for the child to be successful and build a positive self concept through the therapeutic process.
As a school counsellor, what kind of problems do you most commonly encounter in the children you work with?
I think the most common problem I encounter with the students I work with is defiance – not doing what is asked of them in the classroom setting. However, after working with the student and finding out more about him, there are almost always other issues that are impacting the student and influencing his behavior. He may be behind his peers academically and feel embarrassed in the classroom. He may have to stay up late taking care of younger siblings and feel tired during the day at school. She may not have a consistent place to live or not know where her next meal is coming from each day. Arts-based activities provide students with a safe outlet to discuss these issues and allow the student and counselor to identify ways to handle them. Other problems that I frequently encounter include attention and hyperactivity issues, autism, and depression.
Have you found that the issues affecting them have changed through the course of your career?
I have observed an increase in children with mental health concerns over my years of practice, particularly with emotional problems and autism. This increase could be attributed to many different individual and societal issues, but it underscores the importance of providing quality mental health services for children and teens. Arts-based therapeutic activities can help facilitate every phase of the counseling process. These activities will help the counselor build rapport with the child, provide a framework to use when exploring and discussing thoughts, feelings, and issues, and can be utilized as part of a transition plan when the child has accomplished her therapeutic goals. Arts-based activities such as journaling, drawing, and writing songs can be taught and practiced within the counseling relationship and then continued outside of therapy as a healthy outlet for expressing feelings, thoughts, and frustrations and coping with problems throughout the child’s life.
The book features guidance and sample curricula for setting up therapeutic/character education ‘day camps’. Tell us about your experiences of day camps, and what they have to offer children.
I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to coordinate and lead several series of therapeutic day camps. Participating in these camps has had a profound impact on me as well as the children, teens, and other staff members that have been a part of these meaningful events. The therapeutic day camps are filled with enjoyable activities and allow the children to learn and practice therapeutic skills in a fun atmosphere without feeling like they are in “therapy.” The camps offer the time and space to extensively teach concepts like social skills, anger management, and goal setting through participation in a series of activities that break the concepts down and present the topics with symbolic projects and hands-on lessons. Each child leaves the camp with tangible reminders of what they learned that can help them to retain the information long after the camps are completed. The activities from the camps can be adapted to many different group settings and can be conducted over a series of days or weeks depending on the needs and logistics of the group.
How do you channel your own creativity and come up with the ideas?
As a child and adolescent, I really did not consider myself to be creative. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do everything “perfectly.” In order to be creative, a person really has to let go of the need to be “perfect” or “right” and be willing to try new things and look at things in a new way. As I have grown both personally and professionally, I tend to find inspiration and creativity in almost everything. Books, Internet blogs, magazines, music, cooking, and nature all tend to inspire me to think creatively. Often, the creative activities and projects I use in therapy are inspired by simply taking something ordinary and using it in a new way. For example, with the “Social Butterfly” activity in the book, I was inspired after hearing someone call a child a “social butterfly” (meaning that she was enjoying being around all the other children and interacting with them). I thought creating a “social butterfly” would be a great way to illustrate and discuss social skills with children. The children really enjoyed the activity and were able to gain better understanding of the importance of using good social skills.
Do you have a favourite activity?
Although it is not easy to pick just one, my favorite activity in the book is the “Anger Control Totem Poles” and the Anger Animals Questionnaire that goes along with it. I have used this activity in a variety of settings with people of all ages and everyone really enjoys it. Each participant completes the questionnaire to identify the animal he is most like when he is angry. After identifying the anger animals, the group creates a totem pole of all the anger animals in the group. Each time I complete the activity, there are always smiles of recognition and “light-bulb” moments as the participants are able to “see” themselves and how they handle anger. It really creates a great opportunity to discuss the different ways that people handle anger and strategies for managing anger with each style that leads to lasting insight and self-awareness for each of the participants. I also really love the “Warm Hearts, Warm Hands Quilting Activity”. This was a collaborative project that I was part of when I worked in community mental health. It was exciting to see the pride the children took in their sewing work and the patience, perseverance, and teamwork skills that the children gained through participating.
Copyright © Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2011.
Dr. Helene Burt is Executive Director of the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. She earned her Doctorate of Arts in Art Therapy from New York University in 1999. She has worked as an art therapist and family therapist for over 25 years in Calgary, New York City and Toronto. She is the editor of the Canadian Art Therapy Journal and the Past President of the Canadian Art Therapy Association.
Here, Dr. Burt answers some questions about her new book, Art Therapy and Postmodernism: Creative Healing Through a Prism.
How did you get into the field of art therapy, and how did the book come about?
Art therapy was a natural melding of my interests in art and human psychology. Before I’d ever heard of Art Therapy I was studying art and art history and painting my dreams. I was very interested in Carl Jung’s writings and started reading Freud. After I graduated with a BFA in Art History I found myself searching for a direction in life and Art Therapy was suggested to me. This was in 1984 and Art Therapy was a profession that was not well known in Canada at the time. When I heard about it I had and “Ahaa!” moment and I haven’t looked back since.
I have been interested in what we know as postmodernism since the 1980’s mostly through my work as an art therapist and family therapist. Feminism, systems theory and later narrative therapy all increased my interest in postmodernism. Little has been written about the field of art therapy and postmodernism and I felt that I could contribute.
What is meant by ‘postmodernism’ in the context of art therapy, and why is it important to consider research and practice from this perspective?
In a nutshell, postmodernism in the context of art therapy is the acknowledgement and integration of multiple perspectives as this pertains to art therapy clinical practice, research and training. In doing so we recognize that there is no one truth that can be apprehended and applied to our work but rather many different truths and ways of seeing. This in turn impacts how we practice and what we research and teach on many levels. We have to start asking ourselves questions like, “How is my therapeutic relationship with this client impacted by my beliefs and values?” and examining our research and teaching practices to discover what we may be unconsciously be promoting or leaving out. With this comes change.
What is timely about this book?
This book comes at a time when world events indicate our need to see from the perspective of the other or others. If we cannot do this we cannot work together to protect the Earth from further damage. Authors from different communities and cultures come together in this book to help us all stretch our ways of seeing and practicing. Art therapists are in a unique position to use our life-giving creative energies to create positive change in the world.
The book covers a vast range of client groups. Why was it important for chapters to be culturally diverse?
In keeping with the multiple perspectives stance of postmodernism, the more we can share with each other about other ways of seeing the more effective we can be in our practice, research and training.
Copyright © Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2011.