At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source.
- Rachel Naomi Remen
The opportunities listed here use the creative process to facilitate insight, growth, and mindfulness. The focus is not on the product created but rather on the process of creating. You don't need to be an artist, a writer or an actor to enjoy this process - come with an open heart and a beginner's mind. These activities are rejuvenating, fun, insightful, often playful and sometimes deeply moving.
Develop a creative practice that combines written expression with mixed media art techniques. Art journals can be a place to play, doodle, collect quotes and inspirations, explore ideas, express emotion and practice mindfulness. This class meets in the evening for 6 week sessions. This class is currently offered through the City of Benicia Parks and Recreation Program. You can find information and registration here.
Are you a caregiver, therapist, healer, nurse, principal, teacher or manager? This expressive arts group is a safe haven for those who use their energy tending to the well-being of others. This is time to replenish your heart and soul in a supportive, compassionate environment that you are not in charge of! This group meets monthly.
Masks have been a part of our human history for at least 9000 years. They have been used for protection, disguise, entertainment and ceremony. Come see where your intuition and creativity take you.
Fairytales, myths and folklore have lasted through the centuries because they illuminate universal patterns of behavior and character. They speak truths about human nature that bridge cultural and generational boundaries. Bringing these stories alive through the arts can be a catalyst for self-examination and personal growth. It engages a deep psych-ology or "knowing of the soul." Besides, it is just plain fun! Who doesn't like a good story?
Participants will create masks and use expressive arts to explore the themes and archetypes in one or more stories. This class is typically offered as a one or two day workshop.
Attend to your broken heart with gentle compassion. This gathering is for people dealing with loss in any form. It is at once community-building and deeply personal. More details to follow.
Give expression to your personal wisdom, intuition and wild-nature through the creation of a simple doll. This is a one day workshop.
Art expresses. Art heals. Art enlightens. Art tells the truth. Art excavates. Art releases. Art contains. Art reclaims. Art provokes. Art soothes. Art holds the paradox. Art is an act of courage. Art touches the soul. Art moves. Art witnesses. Art invokes...
This is the opportunity to engage in a personalized creative process with a goal specific to you. Maybe this is one step in a lifetime of creative endeavors and soul-searching, or maybe you've never done anything like this before. You do not need to be a creative person to enjoy this method of working. There is no need for skill, experience or talent (in fact, sometimes that gets in the way). You do not have to draw, paint or write - though maybe you will! If you have a voice whispering in your ear to try it, give me a call! Here are a few of the reasons that people choose to do a single creative session:
These sessions are 90 - 120 minutes long. You have the option of scheduling a follow-up 60 minute session for further integration or discussion.
The language of symbol and archetype is at once deeply personal and at the same time universal. Using images or symbolic objects I will guide you in a step-by-step process to identify different aspects of your personality and explore how they interplay in your day-to-day life.
Masks and dolls have a rich, primal history across cultures and over thousands of years. They can simultaneously represent "self" and "not-self." We can use them to explore paradoxes such as what I show the world and what I hide from the world. Or what I know and what I do not know. We can externalize problems (create a mask of anger, depression, addiction) or embody wisdom (create a mask of healer, protector, nurturer). We can plant the seeds of intention or mark important transitions. Simple dolls and masks can be created in a single session but more in-depth or elaborate work will require multiple sessions.
Grief and loss take many forms and can vary in intensity. Virtually every culture and religion has developed rituals to structure and contain the painful experience of loss, but some of these rituals have been lost or diluted. Developing a personal ritual to acknowledge and honor your pain can be healing. Death, divorce, loss of a pet, loss of a friendship, moving, leaving a job, choosing to sever ties with a family member... There are many ways that we experience loss and even the losses we have chosen for our own health and well-being come with a price. Together we can develop a ritual to honor your experience, to release what you choose, and to hold on to that which is healthy.
Use art, poetry, storytelling, role play, journaling, sound or movement to dive into your soul. Explore the imagery from a dream, learn to use creativity as a mindfulness practice, shake loose the "stuck places" in your life, contemplate relationships, seek clarity on a decision, reclaim parts of yourself you've forgotten about... Together we will clarify your goal and then embark on a creative process to see what we learn. Don't have a specific goal? That's ok. We can jump in and go where the spirit leads us!
Often times introducing experiential therapy or the use of symbol and metaphor in therapy can access new feelings or new perspectives on old problems. It can have the effect of "shaking things loose." If you have reached a "stuck place" in your treatment; if you are looking for ways to step out of your comfort zone and navigate through personal resistance; if you want to address your issue from multiple angles, then one of these creative therapy sessions might be for you. It will allow you to do a deep dive into an issue but then process and integrate it with your therapist whom you already know and trust.
Sessions are 90 to 120 minutes. We will take 20 - 30 minutes at the beginning of the session to discuss your history and clarify your goal. We will also take 15 - 20 minutes at the end of the session for a quick debrief. Further integration and discussion will happen with your own therapist. Your therapist is welcome to attend these sessions or you can attend on your own and report back to your therapist. I prefer to have a conversation with your therapist (with written consent) prior to this work.
This is a technique I use to uncover the "internal drama" taking place in your head. We all have different aspects of personality that make up who we are. I refer to this as our "internal cast of characters." The "inner child" and the "inner critic" are examples of internal characters that you may be familiar with, but who else lives inside of you? Do you have an inner healer, a nurturing parent, a mama bear, a warrior, a bully, a wise old woman...? Do some parts take up more space than you want? Do some parts speak so silently that you can't hear them? We will use personal symbol and metaphor to create a picture of who you are in this moment in time. This is a fantastic way to access personal strength and wisdom. It is also a great way to externalize problems and learn how to challenge negative thought patterns or cognitive distortions.
What are you working on in your therapy? What are you avoiding? What do you want to release? How have you changed? All of these questions and more can be explored deeply using a variety of expressive arts. I can take you, step by step, through a creative process to access emotion, examine resistance or integrate change. We will discuss which creative techniques will be most effective for you and then dive in. Free-form journaling, poetry, mark-making (painting or drawing), collage, storytelling, letter-writing, movement, guided meditation are examples of expressive arts that could be used.
Family members use a combination of psychodrama and family sculpture techniques to identify patterns of behavior and communication. Each family member's voice is represented and valued in this process. Quickly highlighting strengths and painful areas, common goals become clear and can be further addressed with your family therapist. This technique can be modified for individual clients who would like to address family of origin issues without other family members being present.
An intimate group of 4 - 8 people meet weekly to support each other in growth and healing. A 12 week commitment is made for continuity and safety. The use of various active techniques in addition to verbal processing gives this group the potential to initiate rapid growth and change. This therapy group is an excellent adjunct to individual therapy.
Practice mindfulness and meditation through a unique blend of art, writing, movement and sound/silence. This is not traditional meditation.
An intimate group of 4 - 8 women meet weekly to weekly to support each other in growth and healing. A 12 week commitment is made for continuity and safety. The use of various expressive arts techniques is integrated with verbal processing. This therapy group is an excellent adjunct to individual therapy.
A six month journey through the myth of Demeter and Persephone. This series of workshops uses myth, movement and masks to explore themes of lost innocence, betrayal, grief, anger, power and balance. The group meets one weekend a month. You can read about this process in the book Ritual Theatre: The Power of Dramatic Ritual in Personal Development Groups and Clinical Practice edited by Claire Schrader.
An online coaching and accountability circle for mothers. Identify your personal obstacles and saboteurs, clarify your intentions and work systematically toward your goal. This group is appropriate for big goals (write your book) and little goals (clean out your garage).
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. - Maya Angelou
Do you have questions or are you ready to jump right in? Either way call me at 415-860-5109 or email me using the link below. I offer a free 30-minute consultation for those who need to dip their toes in slowly!
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Office located at 1060 Grant Street, Suite 1A, Benicia CA