The two selves

By far the most useful therapy technique I have come across is the Two-Selves (also called the two-chair) technique.

Time and again in therapy I have observed how a person intends to change a behaviour that no longer serves them, only to find that another part of themselves has a totally different idea and refuses to go along with the changes –  it refuses to be controlled, disciplined, or to cooperate with what the person believes they want.

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Outsider art

Last week, as part of the East Vancouver Culture Crawl, I was invited to give a talk about Outsider Art.

The place that invited me to do this talk is The Kettle Society, an organization that has the mandate to serve people with a mental health diagnosis. When I was an Expressive Arts therapy student, did one of my practicums at The Kettle, and I loved it.

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Intuitive painting

I have always been an artist. When I was 4 years old my father bought me a “finger painting” set, and, for about a year, me and my brother painted every night.

This experience of painting so freely became my inspiration for going to art school, and for about 20 years I was an abstract painter.

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Getting married…a performance piece

I have been away for most of the summer, and while being in Mexico for an extended period is nothing new, getting married while in Mexico was definitely new.

Nobody thought I would get married one day. Not even me! I actively and vocally disagreed with the concept of marriage, and everyone knew how I felt.

So, when I decided to “marry” my boyfriend, I knew that something had to be different.

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Book review: The gift of therapy

I have read many interesting books by the author and psychotherapist Irvin Yalom, and one of my favorites is a book I got as a graduation present from a friend who is also an art therapist: “The Gift of Therapy, an open letter to a new generation of therapists and their patients”.

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On loss and grief

Grief and loss counseling can deal with a variety of situations. Some of these are:

–       death of a loved one

–       separation/divorce

–       loss of health/disabilities (cancer, HIV, AIDS, etc.)images

–       pregnancy loss and fertility issues

–       work loss

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Talking to the image – final

This is the last installment of my dialogue with an image which I painted in therapy in the summer 2012, when I was experiencing severe pain in my back and neck from a childhood injury. The insights I was able to receive were profound, and I believe that the techniques used to explore the Self through images used by Expressive Arts Therapy are incredibly valuable.

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