Lot's of news to report:
I'll be presenting my pilot research "Embodied and Body-Based Methods of Art Therapy" at the 7th Annual Integrated Creative Arts Therapy Conference in Evanston, Illinois on June 10th.
Last month, I attended the US Association of Body Psychotherapy at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. I presented the same paper to a small but enthusiastic group of body psychotherapists on Friday, May 19th. It was nice to be back in the Bay area and to stay with old friends and new acquaintances.
In October, I'll be back in CA at the American Art Therapy Association Conference to present the same talk. Lots of opportunities to spread the word about embodied art therapy.
I'll also run a workshop on narrative weaving with my colleague Val Koutmina. This will be in San Diego, from Oct 26-29.
The Embodied Art Therapist - Book Project
The final news is that the book project The Embodied Art Therapist has been accepted unanimously by the Routledge editorial team. My fellow editors, Kelley Linhardt and Val Koutmina, and I are excited and busy gathering a team of wonderful art therapists to write for this volume which we feel will make a tremendous contribution to art therapy. Expected publication is June 2026.
SOMATIC ART THERAPY GROUPS – IN-PERSON & ONLINE
IN-PERSON GROUPS in Hastings, NY:
THURSDAYS 10 to 12:30 pm
4/20, 4/27, 5/4, 5/11, 5/25
SATURDAY 5/13 10 to 2:00 pm
or SUNDAY 6/25 10 to 2:00 pm
MONDAY 6 TO 7:30 pm EST
4/17, 4/24, 5/1 , 5/15
TUESDAY 7:30 TO 8:00 pm EST
Explore the possibilities of body-based artmaking whether you are someone looking to expand your creative potential or a clinician wanting to experience embodied methods.
Somatic Experiencing, Focusing, Reiki-informed practices including body mapping and body-based meditations.
For more information and to register please contact:
Mia de Bethune, ATR-BC, LCAT, ISP/SEP
As a practicing art therapist and art therapy educator, I am sometimes asked to offer my opinions about the field. I've been interviewed a number of times and most recently by Sophia Kalimian, a junior at the Hewitt School in Manhattan. Sophia founded the Arnod Art Club in honor of her art teacher the late Madame Arnod. The mission of the club is to spread kindness and joy through art, provide children with stress-free art experiences and bring awareness to the benefits of creating and sharing art. A most worthy mission.
Below is the link to a recording of our interview together.
In another interview collage artist, curator, and writer, Nancy Egol Nikkal has written about my woven collage work in her blog The Art of Collage. This is in advance of the exhibition DRAWING THE LINE that Nancy curated for The Pelham Art Center, Pelham, NY, which will run from February 16th through April 2nd. The opening will be Thursday, February 16th from 6-8 pm
I am delighted and honored to be able to provide the link to her interview here:
I'm also happy to be presenting my recent pilot research project "Body-Based and Embodied Methods in Art Therapy" at the Institute for Therapy through the Arts, 7th Annual Integrated Creative Arts Therapy Conference. This conference will be in Evanston, IL from June 9th to the 11th. I'll be presenting on Sat June 10th from 10:30-11:30 am. Details to follow.
On the research forefront as a follow-up to the pilot study, I will be conducting more research on embodied methods in art therapy. Recruitment will begin in spring 2023. Details to follow.
I'm also going to revive my gratitude practice One Good Thing Daily and will be sharing it on this website.
More to come on that...
Lot's going on.
New groups for Embodied Art Therapy Methods are forming.
Embodied Art Therapy Methods for Clinicians - Weekend Intensive
Is scheduled for this coming week on Sat 1/14 and Sun 1/15 from 10 am to 3 pm each day with a 30 min break. Various body-based art therapy methods will be introduced but should not be considered a training certification. Resources will be provided for further study.
This group will be offered online and has room for several more participants.
To register, and receive a supply list and the meeting link please contact me.
A Monthly Embodied Art Therapy Group
Will begin on Monday 1/16 from 6-8 pm via Zoom.
It will be held on the third Monday of each month.
We will explore a different body-based art activity each month.
To register and receive a supply list and the meeting link please contact me.
Monthly ATR Supervision/Embodied Art Therapy Supervision
This group is open to recent graduates seeking credentialing and
art therapy professionals who want supervision with a body-based focus.
It is held on the third Sunday of each month from 6-8 pm.
Enrollment is currently full.
It seems like an entire decade since before the pandemic and a life lived in a whole different state - both physically and emotionally. I am hopeful for 2023, but it does seem like there is a lot of heavy lifting to do from the emotional and political upheavals of the last few years.
My new year's resolution is to reach out to all of those with whom I lost touch because of the isolation of the pandemic. Part of that resolution was revamping my website and reaching out to you via this platform again.
Here are reasons to be hopeful in 2023:
Though COVID variants are still rampant most people are not getting too sick because of vaccination and boosters. Restaurants and schools are no longer shutting down and the theatre district is back in full swing. I'm not dismissing the real burden on healthcare workers due to the trifecta of COVID, RSV, and the flu, but it does seem this COVID is becoming more endemic and we can move forward.
I hope to begin running groups in my studio in Hastings-on-Hudson sometime in 2023!
Look for an update soon on new group offerings and other events happening for myself and Art Therapy on Hudson.
It's hard to keep up with blogging and posting when your life is in a tumult and mine certainly has been!
As the trauma therapist in me knows, healing and growing need to take a second seat when steadiness and security are compromised. My family has moved to a new home, finally, after packing up and searching for the better part of a year. We are ready to put our rugs and our roots down; to plant seeds and bulbs in a new garden and orient toward the future. None of this was quite possible as we lived out of boxes and couldn't find the simplest things from toothpaste to vegetable peelers. We are truly blessed with a new home and garden and feel secure enough now to be offering prayers of thanks, as well as healing out to those who are less fortunate whether they be on the border with Mexico or the Afghan people fleeing for safety.
Many things have changed for me in my practice. While I maintain an office in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, I am still seeing clients online until the COVID-19 Delta variant is less of a risk. I have started a PhD program at Lesley University and will be spending much of my time devoted to research of embodiment in art therapy.
If you'd like to schedule an online session in art therapy, Somatic Experiencing, Inner Relationship Focusing, Integral Somatic Psychology or Karuna® Holy Fire® Reiki please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of you may know that I have been organizing the of making PPE for frontline healthcare workers.
I wanted to share the links to various models which we are using for face masks and face shields.
The Deaconess Accordion
• Most basic mask pattern
• Suggested by Deaconess Hospital in
The Buttoncounter Accordion Model
• Slightly more fitted to the face than the Deaconess model
The Filter Pocket Model
• Similar to the Accordion Model
• Includes a pocket to insert a disposable
filter layer for added protection
The Hair-tie Model
• Uses hair ties (scrunchies/elastics) as a substitute for woven elastic bands
• Can be gathered (like Deaconess Model) or pleated (like Accordion Model)
The Non-Elastic - Tie Model
• Uses bias tape instead of elastic to secure • Tutorial includes instructions for a wired
nose bridge, which can be applied to all other mask models
The Fitted/N95 Cover Model
• Curved to fit the contours of an N-95 mask • If made with stretchy fabric (knit, jersey, T- shirt, etc.), no elastic needed for ear loops
The Face Shield
• No sewing required; constructed with industrial tape/glue
It's been a year or more since I've written on this blog - so I've updated my website and will update my blog for the New Year as well. 2017 was a tumultuous and dynamic year with lots of challenges and lots of achievements. I'm hoping 2018 will be as productive and rewarding.
In 2017 I made more art between July and October than I have in the past ten years. I launched my exhibit WOVEN at the Upstream Gallery in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY on October 1, featuring objects woven from recycled materials, painting that combined weaving as an element, and several woven and kinetic sculptures.
Early in the year I also embarked on a new course of training in Somatic Experiencing, which is a body based form of trauma treatment. This has been nothing short of transformative in terms of my own physical and mental well-being, as well as my approach to practice with my own clients. I'm now in my Intermediate level year and can't wait to learn and experience more.
On the theme of training I also spent a transformative ten days up at Haystack Mountain School of Craft on Deer Isle, Maine in June. I can only say this place is magic. From the food to the magnificent 200 foot staircase from the school down to Penobscot Bay. There I took a fibers class from master weaver Marianne Fairbanks from the University of Wisconsin. In those 10 days I learned to spin and felt wool, crochet, make and splice rope, make a net, create a loom, thread and work a complex floor treadle loom, make baskets and a simple kite. Are you exhausted reading that list? Well I didn't sleep for the entire first week.
What I learned there had everything to do with the production of art work over the summer.
I haven't even touched upon the political stuff. I've been phone banking, canvasing, letter writing and marching with my fellow citizens in the defense of our democracy and I have to say its invigorating. 2018 will prove to be even more challenging and I'll be working hard on the November midterm elections.
One of my proudest achievements this past year was a gratitude practice in the form of a blog I started on Martin Luther King Day 2017. This was five days before the inauguration of our current president, at a time when many were anxious and fearful and the government was in turmoil. There was so much negative speech in the media and the news that I felt the need for myself to find more positivity. One Good Thing Daily or OGT DAILY was the result of a walk in the snow which cleared my head and had me appreciating the beauty of the world around me. It occurred to me everyone could use a dose of that and I committed to writing about One Good Thing each day for the 365 days of that year. I have just completed that year and I can say gratitude practice has made my life much better. That is not to say it was all happiness and roses, but on the days where things seemed bleak, when another disgusting tweet had gone out or another outrage had been revealed about abuse of power, looking for the positive had its soothing effects.
OGT DAILY can be found on Blogspot here is the link:http://ogtdaily.blogspot.com/2018/01/ogt-daily-day-three-hundred-and-sixty_66.html
I want to end this blog post by inviting you to attend one of my new workshops in the spring or fall - art journaling, weaving and fiber works, drawing and painting, and mandala and energy work.
See Schedules and Special Workshops for details.
As we enter a new year and perhaps new era of great unknowns ahead, I become more and more convinced of the importance or art in not just my life but the world in general. We can't know what the new administration will do after Jan 20th, but we have a pretty good idea and it could mean drastic change in our civil lives, our health, and our sense of well being. All throughout the Christmas season I have heard others at parties and online speak about the need to become involved and less complacent. I've taken up the call and joined an activist group. I will be marching to fight for my civil liberties, but I've also heard artists speak of their duty to produce works that respond to the racism, hatred, bullying and threat to basic civility that this election has promoted. This was particularly from the acting community, while one young art dealer I spoke with said he felt despondent that "no good art can come out of this. It will all reactionary."
I could not disagree more. My visceral response (beyond becoming more politically active) has been to dive back into the studio. To work in any medium of art be it poetry, painting or drama is to essentially to encounter the unknown and wrestle meaning to light. When I face chaos, tragedy and fear in my life I will use the studio as a place to organize and create a path forward. This is why I believe in the power of art as therapy. I know that it works.
The current show at the MOMA on the Russian Avant Garde art movement speaks to the power of change - revolution reflected and exacted through art. It is both exhilarating and chilling to see as the likes of Rodchenko, Lissistky and Eisenstein rejecting imperialist styles of art in favor of a new abstraction without formal constraints that could represent the will of the common man. There is so much freedom to these images speaking to a new spiritualism after the oppression of centuries of Czarist regimes. The cautionary tale is how they then became enlisted as brutalist motif for a most brutal form of totalitarianism under Stalin.
For good or evil, art is more than just a mirror of the times. Artists must imagine new forms of seeing. With politicians and journalists using language like "we must draw out the possibilities" whether about health care or relations in the Middle East, this is no less a time for artists to be active and imagining the way forward; the way to wrestle meaning from the complex unknown of our world.
Mia de Bethune, ATR-BC, LCAT is a writer, artist, art therapist and owner of Art Therapy on Hudson.