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#126240 - 02/14/04 07:33 AM art therapy for male survivors
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
As you may already know I am currently doing a master in art therapy in Paris (in the theatre and dance section). I want to specialize in SA and especially helping male survivors.
I should be participating in the workshop in England this summer. I have found a generous sponsor who in exchange would like me to organize an art therapy workshop for male survivors in Geneva, Switzerland.
I have thrown ideas on a paper but I would like your thoughts. How do you feel about art therapy, issues you would like to tackle through expressing yourself with your voice and body ?
You can also pm me, I'd really appreciate your support with that matter !
Thank you !
Caro

_________________________
Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

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#126241 - 02/14/04 08:15 AM Re: art therapy for male survivors
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Caro
Art therapy is something I've not done, but I've heard that it's very powerfull.
Recently at a workshop I did as part of my counselling training we did spend some time doing a bit of a taster though, and I found it very good.

I haven't painted or drawn since I was a kid, and I'm not good at art, but I tried. I was searching for something to paint and I ended up painting a picture of the room I was abused in at school, a dirty, empty room with a split mattress on the floor. But I remember the view from the window across the fields and painted it looking through the window.
Once I'd finished that I painted another room, and included the view out the window, it's the living room of our house - where I feel safe.

Art it wasn't, but therapeutic it was !

Two of the guys in the group therapy I go to are very talented artists, one is exceptional, and they both do a lot of art work that has significance to their healing, very very powerfull drawings and photograpy.

So let me know about coming to the UK, I'll be very interested in what you're doing.
PM me if you know where you're likely to be going. And if I can help any I will.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#126242 - 02/14/04 02:45 PM Re: art therapy for male survivors
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
I do not know that I have engaged in any actual 'art therapy'. Being that my sport is considered also 'artistic', I have used it some before. I have posted here once before of something I had done with that. After I was done with practice one day, I put on a CD with a song, a kind of child-like song, and improvisated a program to it, just letting my mind and body go, and it was as if it were program that I had done hundred times before. I do not know if that was gift from my inner child to me, or from me to him. But I know that there was something involved there.

I told my therapist of that, of doing that, and that is the one time she give me an art therapy 'assignment'. Because I had always said that I am not artistic person, at least not in comparison to my girlfriend, she is the actual 'artist' of us. So my therapist said to try something artistic, but to not 'dominate' it, to just like to put paint on paper and not control where it go, or what I am making it look like, if that makes sense (it made more sense when she tell it to me, truly). So I did do that once, and even scanned it onto computer and shared it with few friends here. It is very bizare picture, and I shared it with her also, and we talked some about what it represented or meaned. I think it was something helpful, although we have not done anything like that again since then, (but I have not been seeing her so much, because of traveling). But it was rather unsettling to me, because I think maybe it is that I think to literal, and want to know what it means, what I create, when it may be it do not mean anything.

I am not sure if this is of any assistance to you, but I wished to give you what little experience I have of it.

leosha

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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#126243 - 02/14/04 02:53 PM Re: art therapy for male survivors
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
One thing I have seen at various survivor events I have gone to, is the creativity that can be found in survivors. Sometimes a survivor does not realize they are very creative, but from some of the things I have seen, I know it is there.

I think part of it has to do with having the confidence to be creative and letting go sometimes of the controls that we have on our lives. In a way, you almost lose control to be creative.. and that can be a good thing, but also a scary thing

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#126244 - 02/14/04 03:02 PM Re: art therapy for male survivors
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1983
Loc: Flint, Michigan
<<>>

A skeptic, sorry,
Bill

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Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

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#126245 - 02/14/04 06:22 PM Re: art therapy for male survivors
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
art therapy is essential for getting out issues which cannot be spoken - perhaps in the begining stages of therapy - i have had such rage and anger that i could not speak it - for fear of hurting myself in an extremes -

art is essential for depicting things - either through phsycial gesture - violently or softly or exuberantly -

and words and drawings for depicting in your own inimatable choice of diction and imagery are an essential control afffirmative -
for chaotic and a warzone past -

mgb

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#126246 - 02/14/04 06:41 PM Re: art therapy for male survivors
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
caetal - please this is really unto my own experience - but i was taught to be so selfless -

that when i dealt with a creative medium i was selfless to the medium -

with regular therapy and expressions in movement and writing and drawing that i have done on my own - i have realized my self worth-

IMPORTANTLY - i have recognized the need to value myself when dealing with a medium as well - no matter what it is -

i do not know if this can be understood - but my intention is to affirm the power of self recognition opposed to the tools in all media
provided - learning that i and we have outlets for emotion -

and do not have to be consumed and destroyed by
the experiences -

i hope this makes sense - in doing whatever - thinking about whatver - talking expressing -
having the freedom and creating a structure for it-

it enables the bad stuff or the issue to be vanquished - reach a managed resolving

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#126247 - 02/14/04 10:39 PM Re: art therapy for male survivors
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5777
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Caetel:
Art therapy has been a topic for a number of male survivor conferences in the past. I don't think there were any art therapy specific workshops in the last conf. There may have been in the one or two before then. Maybe some of the membership who were in NYC or Vancouver may remember who did the workshops or the topics.

So, yes... art therapy is a definite part of the healing process, especially (but not limited to) for children.

Ken


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#126248 - 02/15/04 07:20 PM Re: art therapy for male survivors
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
I have read very interesting things here and I want to give a few thoughts about what I have read.
Firstly, art therapy IS NOT a therapy as such ! It would not replace a psychotherapy and an art therapy workshop is not designed to solve all the problems. It's impossible !
Like some of you have noticed, the aim of the art therapy is not to create a fine art object/result, the aim is therapeutic though sometimes the results are clearly amazing. It is true that the relationship between an artist and a patient is not the same that with a doctor/therapist. Just like for Holocaust survivors, what we have experienced is so out of the human understanding that there are simply NO WORDS to express our suffering, our memories...Art can help us go over that problem and also give us a tool to protect us in the process of letting the trauma express itself.
I am in the theatre/dance section of the art therapy degree but in our first year we get a knowledge of all fields (theatre, music, dance, painting, sculpture). This week I have started with painting. I badly needed to express my own deconstruction and anger. What I found very powerful was the clear link between the action/movement and the emotions. Sometimes my hand carried the painting with a clear anger and violence that surprised me. The result was strange, obviously I expressed the trauma in my painting.
I agree that the role of the art therapist is to decode what has been expressed and it is not easy because there are several elements showing (being the trauma, a pathology, our education, our values, our hopes....)
In theatre, the values of art therapy can be found in the verbalization of emotions and issues but also a re-connection between the soul, the intellect and the body. I will be working in that direction in my first workshop for male survivors.
I would also like to tackle these issues in my workshop:
- the image of manhood and masculinity
- the issues of sexual identity
- the anger and beyond (finding other emotions)
- the difference between fantasies and reality (including sexual fantasies)
I have in my head several ideas of theatre games that can be used in very simple and fun ways.
My first concern is that male survivors feel safe and then that men can have fun, explore and benefit from these workshops, also regaining a sense of their own power, confidence and master over their life.
What issues would you want to explore if you had the chance of participating in such a theatre workshop ???
Would you prefer to be in a mixed workshop (male and female survivors) or a men only workshop ?
This is very helpful, I can't thank you enough for sharing your experiences and ideas. Art therapy is still brand new and inexistant as part of healing sa survivors !
Keep posting !
\:\)

_________________________
Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

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#126249 - 02/15/04 08:32 PM Re: art therapy for male survivors
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Don
Quote:
I think part of it has to do with having the confidence to be creative and letting go sometimes of the controls that we have on our lives. In a way, you almost lose control to be creative.. and that can be a good thing, but also a scary thing
I hadn't thought of this aspect at all, the letting go of our controls. It's something that in the very brief experience I had, I don't think happened ( not fully anyway ) but I'd like to get to that place where I could express through some medium, painting or sculpting maybe, completely unrestrained emotions.
That would be so powerful.

Caro
This is getting interesting, so don't stop posting ideas. Maybe it's something that can be incorperated into the retreats ( if it isn't already ? )

I think I would prefer a male only environment, especially for drama and dance. But even for painting or something. Mainly because I fell that becoming 'unrestrained' would be a great achievement, and I think that mixed company might restict that from happening ( for me )

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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