Syllabus for Rochester & Springfield spring '11

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Syllabus for Lani's Spring Art Therapy Workshops

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Syllabus for Rochester & Springfield spring '11

  1. 1. Building Resilience from the Inside Out Through Puppets, Play, and Stories or A Back Door To Culture, Well-being, and Strength“If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, amagic-bean-buyer. If youre a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-goldentales to spin. Come in! Come in!” -  Shel Silverstein Lani Gerity DA, ATR February 21, 2011Lani Gerity Resilience, Page 1
  2. 2. This course, Building Resilience from the Inside Out, will provide participants with an absorbingmethodology for practicing art therapy in a multi-cultural world. We will explore how puppetsand doll-making as well as the creation of resilience narratives can enhance the therapist’sempathy, compassion, attention, curiosity even appreciation for beauty and other intrinsicrewards.The course will weave an experiential art-making component into a didactic examination of theidea of culture being a vehicle for learning skills of resilience. Through case material we willlook at resilience and puppet-making with dissociative patients, with grandparents andgrandkids, and across cultures. There are optional readings which will provide some clues as tothe ability of modern Western consumer culture to teach values of inner strength and resilience.We will take a peek at dominant and non dominant cultures, colonialism, and the culturallysyntonic ego ideal, all in relation to art therapy. Particular attention will be paid to thedifficulties of transference and countertransference in working with populations from culturesother than our own. We will discuss the possibilities of supporting a culture of resilience withinour art rooms.Lani Gerity Resilience, Page 2
  3. 3. What will be required1. Come to the class with a lot of curiosity and not too many assumptions. We really don’tknow what is around the next corner, do we?2. Find a resilience narrative, either a folk tale, or a bit of history from your own cultural background or family, that clearly speaks to human resilience (see strategies below). Be prepared to tell the story as the introductory exercise.3. Not required, but very helpful: read the following two articles (should be a separate email): Gerity, L.A. (2000 a). The Subversive Art Therapist: Embracing Cultural Diversity in the Art Room. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 17 (3) pp. 202-206. and Gerity, L.A. (2001). Josie, Winnicott, and the Hungry Ghosts. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 18 (1) pp. 44-49.Resilience Strategies:1. Do what ever we can to build relationships, because we need people.Lani Gerity Resilience, Page 3
  4. 4. 2. We need opportunities to take charge of aspects of our lives whenever possible, because we aremore resilient when we feel competent rather than helpless.3. We need to have goals and wishes, because these produces optimism.4. We need to look for good things in our environment, because we do better when we have at least afew positive things in our awareness even in the most difficult times.5. We need to believe in ourselves.6. We need insight, so that we can think, draw conclusions, and problem solve.7. We need to exercise our creativity for the above reasons and because it feeds us in non-material ways.8. We need humor. We need to be able to distance ourselves from life’s difficulties at times, andhumor allows for this.9. We need an internal moral compass, to help us with our decisions.10. We need to take care of ourselves.11. We need time and space to help us create meaning of our lives. We need to keep a journal (artjournal) to help us reflect on what is happening to us.12. We need meditation or a spiritual practice that helps us feel ourselves a part of a greater whole.13. We need to have compassion, kindness, and generosity for ourselves and others. (see Dr. KristinNeff’s website: http://www.self-compassion.org/)14. We need to study resilience, because in my experience it makes us more resilient.Sources:Figley, C. R. (2005). Combat Stress Injury : Theory, Research, and Management. Brunner/RoutledgeFive Ways to Well-being. The New Economics Foundation http://www.neweconomics.org/Lyubomirsky, S. (2010). The how of happiness: A practical approach to getting the life you want.London: Piatkus.Petronis, V. (2005). Resilience following Katrina. Loyola University New Orleans.Road to Resilience, American Psychological Association. Found at http://www.apahelpcenter.org/featuredtopics/feature.php?id=6Lani Gerity Resilience, Page 4
  5. 5. Making Paper Puppet People or Paper Action FiguresWhat you will need:Scissors, card stock, old magazines, photocopies of old photos, gluestick, embellishments, hole punch; yarn, string, or brads for yourpuppetʼs joints; and pencils, markers, crayons, even rubber stampscan be fun.You may also want a template.Here is one you use. Cut it out,trace it on your card stock orconstruction paper and you areready to get started.This template can be adjusted, ofcourse. You can make it taller,thinner, fatter. You can give itlong hair, short hair. You canmake it bald, or even give itfeathers for hair.Once you have your head, torso,arms and legs cut out you needto make holes where you see thelittle black spots on thislittle templateʼs shouldersand the top of the legs. (8holes)Now you are ready toattach arms and legs to thebody of your puppet. BradsLani Gerity Resilience, Page 5
  6. 6. are easy to use and you can find decorative versions in scrapbooking stores. Yarn and even long skinny scraps of cloth work really well. Experiment! I used a small hole punch and made holes where I joinedarms and legs to the body. If you are using cloth or yarn, push theends though an arm hole and the corresponding hole at the shoulder,tied a square knot (right over left and left over right) and then againat each joint. Of course brads would work as well in these holes.“It is in playing and only in playing thatthe individual child or adult is able to becreative and use the whole personalityand it is only in being creative that theindividual discovers the self.” D. W.Winnicott (British pediatrician /psychoanalyst and the quote comes frompage. 54 of Playing & Reality)Lani Gerity Resilience, Page 6
  7. 7. A personal note on transformation &puppets:I found this process of using oldphotos very liberating. I began to lookat the memories and photos ofchildhood in a more playful way thanI ever had before. Suddenly theselittle frozen capsules of time could bea source of fun, less fossilized, therewere more possibilities, more kinds offeelings. The feelings of newpossibilities, and new ways of lookingwere probably the most remarkable ofall the feelings that emerged. These particular puppets were rubber stamped on water color paper and water color was added afterwards. The yarn hair came from a scrap- booking collection of embellishing yarns and there are brad joints at knees, elbows,Lani Gerity Resilience, Page 7
  8. 8. hips and shoulders.I figured more joints wouldgive her more flexibility,metaphorically speaking.(And what more could weask for than moremetaphorical flexibility?)If you have any questionsplease feel free to contact me at: lanipuppetmaker@mac.comAnd check out my blogs for more ideas and inspiration:http://lanipuppetmaker.blogspot.com/http://14secretsforahappyartistslife.blogspot.com/Lani Gerity Resilience, Page 8

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