We started the meetings in December 2010 as a way for practitioners to get together, share ideas, be creative and have a regular CPD opportunity for all members.
The clinical meetings are an opportunity to expand our thinking, to cross-fertilise with the different practitioners approaches at the centre, and to reflect upon the wider therapeutic issues and implications that occur in the therapeutic encounter.
The meetings take place from 7-9pm on the last Tuesday or Wednesday of each month and we start the sessions with 15 minutes of art making. This gives everyone an opportunity to unwind, leave their working day behind and connect to the topic of the meeting.
Over the months, we have explored themes such as working with mother and child dyads in a “parallel treatment” model; the relationship between poetry and therapy; and the way events in the outside world (politics, wars and natural disasters) affect the internal world of the client and the therapeutic relationship. We talked about ”facing the unknown” in the therapeutic process and went to see the Chutzpah Clinic – a fringe theatre show about using humour to create behavioural change. Most of our speakers and presenters are members of the London Art Therapy Centre, a varied group of practitioners which includes art therapists, drama therapists, talking therapists and bodyworks therapists. It’s been a unique experience to think together about the ways we all work across these different modalities.
As well as having member speakers, we had three guest speakers last year: Valerie Sinason spoke about Dissociative Identity Disorder, Joseph Berke discussed (anti) psychiatry, Mary Barnes, Kingsley Hall and the Arbours Crisis Centre; and Ian Siddons Heginworth spoke about Environmental Art Therapy, following his book launch hosted at the Centre.
Just before Christmas we had a social gathering – Unmasked at the London Art Therapy Centre – where we did some mask painting together. Here are some photographs, and you can still find the masks hanging in a temporary exhibition at the Centre…
We are always on the look-out for new ideas to explore in the meetings and encourage our members to share their knowledge and experience, and to inspire others. If you are interested in presenting your work or any innovative approaches, please do get in touch.
Posted by Nili Sigal, art therapist &
clinical meetings coordinator