Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Autumn conferences

Susan Anand and I will be presenting puppet and story book making workshops in two venues this fall. The first will be in September for the Buckeye Art Therapy Association, where we will give you all the tools to create your own puppets and books and to create your own workshops. The second venue will be in Dallas at the AATA conference. It will be a full day pre-conference course where the subjects of puppets, stories, books, animation, and art therapy will be explored in depth.

We hope to provide tools and inspiration which you can use in your search for resilience narratives in your own practice. We will focus on finding and developing characters which embody strength and flexibility, creating therapeutic metaphors which can speak directly to the inner artist, and we will look at techniques for putting the resilience narratives into a format which can be easily shared and reviewed, whether that is a story book or a video on youtube. The advantage of using imagery, stories, ideas, and characters from the individuals you are working with, is that strengths and assets are acknowledged, stories are valued, and the learning is therefore "inside out". As a consequence, individuals are engaged and participate more fully in their own therapy or learning (Gerity 2006).

This full-day course will include an introductory narrative with various kinds of puppets, giving participants a range of puppet possibilities. We will provide examples of simple book structures including a book created with one piece of paper, simple pamphlet binding, and an "altered" child's board book - all of which are suitable for most art rooms and most budgets.

The first half of the day will focus on making puppets and characters, using a variety of collage techniques with card stock. Once the characters are developed, participants will create the storybook as a companion art piece for the paper puppet. Participants will experience the ease of eliciting narratives of resilience, healing, and strength, while learning how to create playful paper puppet characters and a simple book structure. Group stories will be created when the puppets and characters come together in small groups. The instructions will be fairly simple so this course can be replicated in most art settings and with limited budgets.

The final discussion will allow for sharing of creations and how resilience, healing, and strength may be discovered when working with puppets and narratives.

For more information, see the BATA SYMPOSIUM website and the AATA CONFERENCE website or email me. Both events look fabulous! Take a look at the keynotes for both! I'm certainly glad to be going. Hope to see you there!

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