Pre Conference Workshop
The Image Comes First: An Art Therapy Approach for Trauma Processing
Thursday, March 22
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Location: Salon 12
This pre conference workshop will cover the essential elements of neurobiologically- informed trauma therapy and demonstrate a unique treatment approach that uses two art therapy based procedures: the graphic narrative and the externalized dialogue. We will demonstrate an integrated set of art and expressive writing tools that can bring about rapid and lasting change for post-traumatic stress disorders. In this experiential training, participants will learn to create a specific drawing protocol called the "graphic narrative" that facilitates the externalization, processing and integration of the verbal and nonverbal trauma story. The beauty of these graphic narratives is that they can tell the trauma story without triggering the original traumatic experience and response. Participants will have the opportunity to practice creating these narratives in a safe setting, using their own trauma stories to see the power of this technique. The second part of the workshop will demonstrate a procedure to reverse dissociation using a written, externalized dialogue that engages both sides of the brain. We can say the trauma is "over" when the graphic narrative and externalized dialogue are complete.
This workshop is largely experiential and participants should be prepared to create simple art works and engage in reflective writing. The skills taught can be applied in clinical work by art therapists as well as non- art therapists, and can be conducted individually or in groups. No previous experience with art or art therapy is required. The leaders, both trauma experts and art therapists, will provide some background about the creative arts and their unique role in the treatment of trauma.
- List the six phases of the instinctual trauma response in humans
- Create a personal art based trauma story based on the instinctual trauma response
- Conduct the art based graphic narration for narrative trauma processing
- Conduct an effective procedure for diminishing post-traumatic dissociation
- Describe how art therapy can assist a client in expressing and processing pre verbal trauma