Story telling has been a source of collective history for millennia. It is a natural way of communicating to ourselves and to others what we truly believe and value.
Art journaling is the practice of story telling in a journal
with both written words and visual images. This mode
of working employs both left and right sides of the brain and encourages greater integration of experience and
enhanced meaning. Studies show that expressive writing about personal subjects can reduce the level of stress hormones in your body, lower your heart rate and even increase serotonin levels.
Art journaling can also create a concrete space for working through problems and developing coping skills - but mostly it encourages us to play and have fun!
Although there are numerous websites available on-line to support would-be art journalers, there are virtually
no actual groups. There is no substitute for real experience and community support. For this reason the Writing for the Soul Workshops were created.
The Writing for the Soul Workshops met for two-hours one Sunday a month in the Art Therapy on Hudson studio for severl years and were very popular years. Not closed therapy groups, they are open to all who are interested (although limited to eight persons due to seating constraints).
Workshops generally consist of:
- Meditation and breathing exercise
- Introduction of theme
- Timed writing exercises
- Art experiential related to theme
- Response writing on theme
- Interactive group activities
- Group response and processing
Past themes have included:
- Truth & Transparency
- Love: Creation & Destruction
- Recycling & Remembering
- Impermanence & Letting Go
- Bookmaking & Affirmations
These workshops are co-lead by Mia de Bethune and Nelly Gupta, MA, a seasoned writer, editor and expressive writing coach. They have also been held nationally at the annual Expressive Therapies Summit in NYC for several years. Groups last 2 hours and cost $40 including all materials. Though no groups are currently scheduled, Nelly and Mia invite requests to schedule a group with your corporation, agency or group upon request.