Solution-Focused Art Therapy
Creativity in Therapy
by Carolyn Mehlomakulu
6M ago
In the last post, I touched on solution-focused and strengths-based approaches when I shared a review of the book Solution Art: A Textbook of Art- and Resource-Oriented Work. I wanted to follow-up this week with some more art directive information when taking a solution-focused approach with your clients. At its core, the solution-focused approach believes that clients already have the strengths, resources, and knowledge that they need to be able to solve their “problem” and move forward. However, they often feel stuck and hopeless, so the solution-focused therapist helps them to feel more em ..read more
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Solution Art: Book Review
Creativity in Therapy
by Carolyn Mehlomakulu
7M ago
A few months ago I received a copy of Solution Art: A Textbook of Art- and Resource-Oriented Work by Paolo J Knill and Herbert Eberhart (translation by Wayne Sutherland). I’d like to share a bit about the book and some of my takeaways, along with encouragement to you to read it yourself. The book was first published in 2010 in Germany and the English translation was just published in 2023, adding a valuable resource and perspective to the expressive arts therapy literature. Note – Although my focus on the blog and in my own therapy practice tends to be on visual arts, this book comes from an ..read more
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Addressing Nightmares and Bedtime Fears
Creativity in Therapy
by Carolyn Mehlomakulu
1y ago
In my work with children, I often need to help clients who are struggling with sleep, especially because of fears and nightmares. Books and creativity provide helpful ways to approach these topics with kids, teaching them self-soothing skills to use at night and empowering them to respond to fears that may come up. Of course, always take the time to investigate what is going on with your client specifically so that you can address the underlying reasons for trouble sleeping – a child with anxiety or trauma who is scared to sleep because of chronic nightmares is going to have different needs t ..read more
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Teaching Emotional Literacy With Finger Puppets
Creativity in Therapy
by Carolyn Mehlomakulu
1y ago
I have another guest post to share with you – Kathryn explains how to create easy finger puppets to explore emotions. I have often done different emotion masks with clients, but I think these finger puppets are great for adding a playful element that would engage some clients better, especially the younger ones. These emotion puppets seem like a great tool for helping kids practice listening to what their different parts/feelings have to say. Hi everyone! My name is Kathryn, and I’m an art and play therapist from the Comox Valley, BC and author of Visitors: A Book About Feelings. I wanted to s ..read more
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Circle of Gratitude: How to Calm Anxiety, an Art Therapist Shares a Way to Help
Creativity in Therapy
by Carolyn Mehlomakulu
1y ago
In this guest post, art therapist Mari Grande, LCSW-R, LCAT, EMDR EAC, SEP shares about using art and gratitude to soothe anxiety. By Mari Grande, LCSW-R, LCAT, EMDR EAC, SEP People often feel anxiety is a horrible thing. It can feel scary and you just want it to go away! But what if it’s like the Wizard of Oz? You think the wizard is this big frightening thing, demanding and yelling, and then it turns out to be a bumbling little person behind the curtain. Learning to get past the scare tactics and figure out what your body is trying to tell you, is helpful to calm your anxiety and make it le ..read more
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Is Anger One of the Most Misunderstood Emotions?
Creativity in Therapy
by Carolyn Mehlomakulu
1y ago
Anger is a powerful emotion – but one that both clients and therapists can struggle to address. Art provides a helpful tool for both expressing and containing anger in therapy. Sigal Govrin LPC, ATR-BC has written a guest post about understanding anger, as well as ways to explore it through art. I don’t know about you, but I have had an interesting relationship with anger. I believe for me it started in childhood where I witnessed my mother fear this emotion and when I expressed it myself, there was a very strong response from my father to “NOT upset your mother!” The confusing thing was that ..read more
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Exploring ACT Art Therapy
Creativity in Therapy
by Carolyn Mehlomakulu
1y ago
I recently had the opportunity to review the new book ACT Art Therapy: Creative Approaches to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by Dr. Amy Backos. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has always been a model that I have wanted to learn more about (it was not introduced at all in my graduate program), but for some reason struggled to connect with. The pieces that I had known about – practicing acceptance of thoughts instead of trying to fight them, being committed to taking helpful actions, identifying and living in alignment with your values – resonated with me and are present in my clinic ..read more
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Making Room For Change
Creativity in Therapy
by Carolyn Mehlomakulu
2y ago
Guest Post By: Jessica Heckwolf, LCMFT, LCPAT, ATR-BC Hello Creativity in Therapy Friends! It’s so good to be visiting again. This time of the year, after the September hustle has settled, I find myself reclaiming self-care practices. Adding new books to my therapy office library is one way I like to do this, and it’s been a treat perusing Carolyn’s bibliotherapy posts for recommendations. This time of the year also brims with change for me. New beginnings and the physical transition of seasons are joined in Fall 2021 with many life changes. Thanks to the global pandemic, I find myself amid ..read more
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Fighting Burnout Through Creative Expression
Creativity in Therapy
by Carolyn Mehlomakulu
2y ago
If you have been feeling burned out or noticing compassion fatigue, you are not alone in this. When we work in a helping profession, especially when we hear about or witness trauma on a frequent basis, we are always at risk of developing compassion fatigue. The many months of the pandemic have only added to the factors that could contribute to stress and burnout. Many therapists and counselors have faced increased stress in their professional life (e.g., higher need clients, clients who feel stuck and do not make progress because of the pandemic or other systemic factors, a greater demand for ..read more
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Creative Bibliotherapy Part 4: Growth Mindset and Accepting Mistakes
Creativity in Therapy
by Carolyn Mehlomakulu
2y ago
Developing a growth mindset and learning to move forward from mistakes is such an important thing for kids to learn. If you work with children and teens, you’ve probably heard statements like this before “I’m just not good at____.” “Everyone is better than me.” “I can’t do it.” “I messed it up and it’s too hard. I give up.” In art therapy, we often see clients struggle with worry that they aren’t good enough at art, get stuck or overwhelmed in their art (and life) due to perfectionism, high-expectations, or self-doubt, and experience frustration when they feel that they have made a mistake in ..read more
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