Sunday, February 1, 2009

IATA Chicago weekend

hi friends! :)
just got back from a wonderful trip to Chicago.

of course, best part being the chance to see Patrick. any time together is precious

this weekend i had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Illinois Art Therapy Association (IATA) conference on transcending trauma. the conference was presented at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, IL. much of our time spent together was in the school's beautifully restored ballroom room which captures the glamor of the 1920's with its twenty-six-foot-tall ceilings, opera balconies, marbleized columns, a permanent terrazzo dance floor.

since the art therapy community so small, it is thrilling to meet one another and hear of our similarities and differences. i loved meeting peers in other areas of the state and country, exchanging stories of our programs and experiences as students in such a new field.

it was a lovely weekend of gaining perspective and motivation to work hard this semester.

beyond the highlight of meeting so many new and interesting people, i was lucky to attend an experiential workshop focusing on problem solving and the cognitive side of using art as therapy. we were presented many different cases of therapeutic cases for victims of trauma (from early childhood abuse to sudden onset of schizophrenia). at the end, and after having discussed the ways in which one can externalize and process these events through art, we were given the opportunity to create a response piece to the session.
this was my response:
it explores and grids out thoughts from the 2.5 hours of the session that i wanted to suspend and process. the quick ease of encapsulating emotions, reactions, metaphors, and ideas surprised me. had i simply took notes with ink and paper about the session, i would not have captured all the dimensions of the entire experience. i would have been limited to fast-paced sentence formation... which usually doesn't lend itself to any processing of moment reactions and feelings.
thanks art!

after the conference Patrick met up with some of my classmates and headed to a nearby English pub, the Elephant & Castle (i think). we snagged a table for 8, and enjoyed good company, food, and drink. around the table were bangers n' mash, fish n' chip, burgers and pints of Newcastle. after dinner we headed to a different pub further North in Andersonville & spent hours enjoying a few rounds of drinks with some wonderful friends.

hope everyone had a great weekend!

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