“Venus Soberanes is a visual artist, Expressive Arts Therapist, jeweler, experimental filmmaker, life coach, published author and shamanic dreamer. Her film and video pieces, highly inspired by her dreams and her family history, have screened in a number of international film festivals; her photography and visual art works have shown in individual and collective exhibitions around the world, and her jewelry is sold in numerous museum gift shops, including the Frida Kahlo Museum, the Anthropology Museum, the Modern Art Museum and the Contemporary Art Museum – all in Mexico City.
She currently lives and works in Vancouver, Canada, and she is passionate about her work with people, both as an Expressive Arts Therapist and a Transpersonal Life Coach.”
Throughout my life Art has been a powerful driving force. I have experimented with several artistic mediums since my childhood, moving from visual arts to music to literature, always wanting to express and experience more of my creative self. As a young child I painted, made clay sculptures, built wooden toys and attended dance classes and music lessons.
This early experience with art was very influential, and as a young adult I decided to get a formal education in painting and photography from the National Center for the Arts in Mexico City.
Moving slowly from representational imagery to abstract painting and collage, I experienced a natural transition from still to moving pictures. This transition inspired me to enroll in the Film Production program at Concordia University in Montreal.
My current art practice includes painting, film, video, photography, collage, sound, creative writing and – in a minor scale but growing in interest – video installation, performance art, and contact-improvisation dance.
My relationship with psychotherapy has been very rich as well. At age fifteen I started a two-year long Freudian psychoanalysis, as a way to deal with my parents’ divorce. This analysis, while interesting, left me desiring to experience other kinds of therapeutic styles.
While studying my BFA in Mexico City, I enrolled in a diploma program to study Transpersonal Psychology with Psycho-corporal Techniques. This course consisted of 25 hours of seven psycho-corporal techniques: Bioenergetics, psychodrama, hypnosis, Gestalt, music therapy, holistic massage and dream work.
This course was pivotal in my ever-growing interest for therapy and healing techniques, and after this course I started a weekly Gestalt psychotherapy that continued for three years.
I moved to Canada in 1998, but I have visited Mexico on several occasions to attend training retreats, including an Enneagram and family constellations week-long retreat in 2006.
All these related therapeutic experiences were taken enthusiastically for the sole purpose of expanding my self-knowledge, and for the passion that I have for experiencing such techniques. In the summer of 2007 I went through a traumatic experience, the result of which was a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Panic Disorder.
I started both a psychiatric treatment and an Eriksonian therapy to deal with the severe anxiety and the effects of the trauma.
My path towards recovery has been slow and painful, as both conditions are difficult to deal with on a daily basis, but I have learned much about mental health issues and recovery.
I have experienced in my own life the therapeutic dimensions of Art and creativity, and, even in the darkest periods of my mental health condition, I kept an art practice, feeling profoundly that this practice was an essential part in my path towards healing and recovery.
It was out of this experience with trauma that the desire to help other people in a professional capacity has taken shape, moved by an empathy for intense pain and the human condition.
Also, out of this experience has sprung a profound optimism, for I know within myself that healing and recovery are possible, and that both are available to people who seek them with an open heart.
My experiences with trauma and mental health propelled me to do my practicum work with survivors of torture at the Vancouver Association for Survivor of Torture in East Vancouver.
My work with survivors of torture was very intense, but profoundly rewarding and enlightening, and further contributed to my optimism and the sense that recovery is possible even in the most extreme of sufferings.
I have also worked with people with a mental health diagnosis, facilitating a weekly Expressive Arts group at the Kettle Friendship Society, in East Vancouver.
And I have experience working with school age children, for one of my practicum sites was an inner city school in the Vancouver Downtown East Side area, where the needs are greater than the resources can provide.
My personal knowledge of trauma, its effects and my own experience with recovery and growth; My enthusiasm and profound optimism for humanity;
My openness to learn, to grow, to become, and to use my experiences to help others find their own path;
And my knowledge that Art and the creative process, used in a therapeutic context, can shape the Self, therefore being a tool for changing consciousness.
I believe Art can change the world, by allowing people to become who they truly wish to be.
Art is a means for survival!
View my Transpersonal Life Coaching site at transpersonal-life-coaching.com
View my art portfolio at venussoberanesart.com
View my ebook at a personal healing journey or in print softcover version
ADDITIONAL READINGS FROM VENUS SOBERANES
- The immaterial fish (386kb)
- Expressive Arts Therapy: a personal healing journey (e-book)
- Expressive Arts Therapy: a personal healing journey (softcover)