Expressive Arts

101 – Solace (A Special Half-Day Session with David Whyte)

The Art of Asking the Beautiful Question

Spend the morning in a special interactive session with poet David Whyte, discovering the deep well of beauty and creativity that lies within each of us. Through his storytelling, poetry readings, and directed writing exercises, you’ll explore language as a tool to expand our understanding of the world and a medium for plumbing the depths of our own experience. You’ll learn the art of articulating and asking the necessary questions that help us reimagine ourselves, our world, and our part in it. These are the “beautiful questions”—ones we often ask in very unbeautiful moments, perhaps the darkest moments we can imagine. We may not find answers, but simply by virtue of asking and grappling with them, they serve to shape our identity, deepen our vision, and expand our imagination.

Note: This special half-day session will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 12:30 p.m.

David Whyte, Hons, poet, author and internationally acclaimed speaker, is the author of eight books of poetry and four books of prose, including Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment & Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words, The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self & Other, and River Flow: New & Selected Poems.

Posted in Personal and Professional Development, Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - Noon & 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., workshops | Tagged , ,

102 – The Joy of Singing

Finding Your Voice

Singing is breath and life itself. Yet most of us have few opportunities to experience the sheer joy, power, and inspiration that comes from singing and hearing our voice blend with those around us. This workshop is a chance for your heart, mind, and body to fully come alive. Led by a former member of the groundbreaking African American female a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock; this workshop will offer you an opportunity to raise your voice in a celebration of life and song. All are welcome and no previous experience in singing is required or necessary. You’ll:

  • Experience the exhilarating emotional power of being part of a vocal community
  • Discover the pleasure of singing African chants, spirituals, gospel music, and songs from the Civil Rights Movement
  • Undergo the transformation in mind and body that comes with giving yourself over to song
  • Feel the power of song to hold the history, culture, and soul of the community that creates it

Ysaye Barnwell, PhD, MSPH, is a singer, composer, author, and actress. She uses oral tradition, an African worldview, and African American history, values, and vocal traditions to build communities of song among singers and non-singers alike.

Posted in Personal and Professional Development, Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - Noon & 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., workshops | Tagged , , ,

104 – Making It Up As We Go Along

How Improv Can Lead to a More Authentic Life

So much of therapy is helping clients say “yes” when their habit is to say “no.” The principles of improvisation mirror this work, providing a safe space that inspires risk-taking, elicits unforeseen new options, and honors fun as a crucial dimension in life. During this experiential workshop (wear comfortable shoes!), you’ll experience an exhilaration, liberation, and authenticity that will leave you energized and inspired. You’ll walk away with:

  • Concrete ways to apply the improvisation spirit of “yes, and” to your clinical work, resulting in greater empathy, joining, and surfacing of unexpected clinical material
  • Increased comfort with the stance of “not knowing”
  • Strategies to shift feeling states and access creativity that can easily be applied in your personal and professional life
  • A greater capacity to challenge the barriers we all experience to intimacy and spontaneity

Lisa Kays, PLLC, is a therapist in private practice and a former program director at the Insight Treatment Centers. She’s also worked as a chemical dependency counselor at the Kolmac Clinic and as an addictions therapist at the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women.

Posted in Personal and Professional Development, Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - Noon & 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., workshops | Tagged , ,

105 – Brain-Based Coaching for Creativity

How to Bring More of Your Hidden Potential to Life

The essence of creative self-expression is connecting with bodily-held emotional experience. That’s why actors and singers call their bodies their instrument. Discover how to use Brainspotting’s eye-focus-based technique to provide a powerful process for going deep into the subcortical brain to maximize your own creativity, whether through performing, writing, acting, drawing, music, or anything else. Over the course of the day, you’ll:

  • Witness demonstrations using Brainspotting to coach an actor and singer to find the “character spot” to bring fuller life to their performance
  • Practice using Brainspotting to heighten your ability to bring new focus and more vivid sense memory to your chosen form of creative self-expression
  • Learn how to integrate Brainspotting into a range of personal and professional activities

David Grand, PhD, is the developer of Brainspotting and has trained more than 8,000 therapists internationally. He’s the author of Brainspotting: The Revolutionary New Therapy for Rapid and Effective Change.

Posted in Mind, Body, and Brain, Personal and Professional Development, Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - Noon & 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. | Tagged , , , ,

109 – The Gift of Storytelling

Discovering a Path to Connection and Creativity

As basic to civilization as food and shelter, storytelling nourishes the deepest roots of our hearts and minds. Not only do we all have stories to tell, but we all need to tell stories to remember who we are. They help us find meaning in the world, ignite our connection to self, and open the path to the universal. In this workshop, you’ll discover how a memory once shaped into a story can reveal hidden wisdom and become a gift. Through a variety of playful interactive exercises, including movement, voice, writing, and visual arts, you’ll:

  • Expand a memory from your life through sensory images
  • Structure a story to find meaning and discover hidden wisdom
  • Become part of a community of tellers and listeners that will unleash your creativity

Noa Baum, MA, is an Israeli storyteller and educator performing internationally. She leads performance art and practical workshops that focus on the power of narrative to heal across the divides of identity. Her upcoming memoir is A Land Twice Promised: An Israeli Woman’s Quest for Peace.

Posted in Personal and Professional Development, Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - Noon & 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., workshops | Tagged , ,

110 – A Day of Gentle Yoga

Calming the Mind and Body

We often think of yoga as physical exercises, forgetting that it also serves to clear the mind and calm emotions. In this workshop, we’ll spend the day learning LifeForce Yoga practices you won’t find in regular yoga classes. These include meditative self-inquiry and mood-balancing Yoga Nidra, which promotes relaxation through a state of deep stillness. You’ll learn the uplifting “Say Yes to Your Self” guided imagery practice and practice joint warm-ups and gentle yoga stretching. By the end, you’ll have refreshed your capacity for openness and connection in a community of practitioners. Use this day to prepare for the fullness of the Symposium ahead and discover:

  • Simple poses, breathing exercises, and methods of meditative self-inquiry
  • Mood-balancing relaxation techniques and uplifting guided imagery practices
  • How to achieve a deep sense of calm, purpose, and joyful receptivity

Amy Weintraub, MFA, ERYT-500, author of Yoga Skills for Therapists and Yoga for Depression, directs the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute, which offers trainings for health and yoga professionals worldwide.

Posted in Personal and Professional Development, Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - Noon & 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., workshops | Tagged , , , ,

111 – Beyond Words

Self-Discovery through Painting

Do you remember the freedom of painting as a child? It was simple: yummy paints, lots of imagination, and nothing was ever considered a mistake. This was how we told our stories before we could speak. Now is your chance to reconnect with your lost nonverbal language, taking you past the limitations of words. Using play and improvisational techniques, you’ll create imagery that’s uniquely yours and discover what you don’t know you know! Painting in this spontaneous manner provides an opportunity to find your visual voice and expand your expressive range. No art experience is necessary. You’ll learn to:

  • Reconnect with the rich visual imagery you already possess
  • Use paint and brushes to create an unplanned painting that focuses on making things up
  • Work in small groups to experience the interplay of improvisational painting
  • Experience a journey that evokes surprise, spontaneity, humor, and creativity

Barbara Barry is creator of the Art for Self-Discovery studio and teaches at Symphony Space and the C.G. Jung Foundation in New York. Her book is Painting Your Way Out of a Corner: The Art of Getting Unstuck.

Posted in Personal and Professional Development, Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - Noon & 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., workshops | Tagged , ,

113 – The Performer in You

Learning to Step Up to Any Platform

If you’ve ever longed to be a more dynamic—or just more comfortable—public speaker, here’s your chance to hone your skills and bring out your inner performer. You’ll learn the essentials of breath control, body language, and stage presence as you participate in a range of fun exercises that will help you get comfortable with your voice and your body. You’ll discover how to connect with your material and express it with commitment and authentic feeling. You’ll push your boundaries in a safe, supportive, nurturing environment—and build the confidence and sense of competence you need to step up to any platform. You’ll learn to:

  • Explore the core causes of the self-doubt that hampers your ability to speak out, and learn to use them as pathways to powerful communication
  • Use improvisational theater games that unlock the resources of the subconscious mind and help you become more comfortable with spontaneity
  • Discover the freedom and sheer joy of singing, speaking, and fearlessly expressing your true self with words and song

Dana LaCroix is a professional singer, songwriter, and critically acclaimed recording and touring artist. She’s written songs for feature films, been director of music at the New Drama School in Copenhagen, Denmark, and worked as a vocal coach at the Danish Academy of Music.

Posted in Personal and Professional Development, Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - Noon & 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., workshops | Tagged , ,

114 – Deepening Your Relationship to Photography

Applications for Your Life and Practice

How often have you looked at a photograph and found yourself laughing, or crying, or overwhelmed by a wordless sense of awe? Often such images have little to do with F-Stops, aperture settings, or light meters. Rather, they are the result of serendipitous, unexpected encounters with the world around us. Using beautiful Rock Creek Park as our laboratory, here’s your chance to develop a more nurturing and receptive relationship to our surroundings. Then, we’ll return to write about our photos—investigating the layers of meaning our images evoke and sharing the discoveries we awaken in each other. In this workshop, you’ll:

  • Discover how to use the art of photography as a gateway for personal discovery
  • Use poetry and other descriptive writing to enrich your photography experience
  • Apply what you learn in this workshop to help your clients learn new ways to explore and express their feelings

Dick Anderson, MA, creative consultant for Psychotherapy Networker, is a wilderness photographer who’s canoed and trekked extensively in the wilds of northern Canada and Alaska.

Posted in Personal and Professional Development, Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - Noon & 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., workshops | Tagged , ,

117 – A Day of Qigong

Learning to Balance Your Life Energies

You’ve no doubt heard about Qigong, but how much do you really know about the benefits of this simple practice? Qigong opens up any blocked energy channels in the body and offers greater engagement and more profound connection with all life. In this workshop, you’ll learn:

  • The simple movements, visualizations, and breathing exercises of Qigong and how to develop your own daily practice
  • How to use Qigong as an antidote to emotional fatigue, burnout, anxiety, depression, and a range of physical ailments
  • How to enhance your capacity for connecting with clients by balancing your own energy, especially when they are out of balance

 Patrick Dougherty, MA, LP, a psychologist in private practice for more than 35 years, has been studying Eastern philosophies and practices for 25 years and integrating them into his clinical work. He’s the author of Qigong in Psychotherapy: You Can Do So Much by Doing So Little and A Whole-Hearted Embrace: Finding Love at the Center of It All.

Posted in Mind, Body, and Brain, Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - Noon & 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., workshops | Tagged , , , ,

120 – The Secret World of Magic

Discovering the Power of Enchantment

Have you ever wanted to be able to keep other people spellbound? Here’s your chance. In this workshop, using everyday objects and easily assembled props, you’ll learn some of the secrets of practicing magic that have delighted children of all ages for thousands of years. The presenter, a magician and therapist, will discuss the principles of magic and explain how and why people willingly suspend their powers of observation and analysis in favor of enchantment. You’ll learn:

  • A series of mind-boggling magic effects for connecting with clients and young people
  • How to spice up lectures and entertain family and friends
  • The basic forms of misdirection and why they work
  • Why people react to magic in different ways

Jay Efran, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of psychology at Temple University and a member of the Society of American Magicians. He’s coauthor of Language, Structure and Change: Frameworks of Meaning in Psychotherapy and The Tao of Sobriety: Helping You Recover from Alcohol and Drug Addiction.

Posted in Personal and Professional Development, Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - Noon & 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., workshops | Tagged , , , , ,

205/305 – Post-Traumatic Growth

From Devastation to Hope

Although it’s important for therapists to help clients process the painful and often demoralizing effects of trauma, it’s also crucial to nurture their potential for new possibilities of healing through post-traumatic growth. In fact, learning respectful ways to plant seeds of hope and resilience can make all the difference when working with trauma survivors. In this workshop, we’ll focus on:

  • The tangible markers of post-traumatic growth, such as new ways of relating to others, the rediscovery of personal strengths, and a newfound appreciation for life in general
  • Specific strategies—including writing exercises, role-playing, art, and guided imagery—to help clients connect with the concept of post-traumatic growth and their own journey
  •  How to use somatic resourcing and remembered resources to access clients’ inner wisdom

Continued with workshop 305.

Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA, a private practitioner, consultant, and educator specializing in trauma, is the founder of the Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy Training and Education and author of Treating Self-Destructive Behaviors in Trauma Survivors: A Clinician’s Guide and Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors: A Workbook of Hope and Healing.

Posted in All Day, Anxiety, Depression and Trauma, Friday Morning: 11 A.M. – 1 P.M, Friday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., workshops | Tagged , , ,

214/314 – From Dysfunction to Erotic Discovery

Transforming the Sexual Narrative

When couples come to therapy with problems involving desire, arousal, and orgasm, therapists often fall into the trap of thinking of them as somehow broken and in need of fixing. Instead, this workshop will offer an approach that guides couples from a state of disconnection to becoming a co-creative sexual discovery team exploring their own idiosyncratic pathway to pleasure. It will offer a three-part therapeutic process to help couples find alternatives to rigid scripts about what fulfilling sexuality is supposed to be like. You’ll learn how to:

  • Conduct a detailed sexual history for partners to help them understand their current sexual narratives and how to create more liberating stories
  • Empower both partners to make explicit their “menus” for preferred sexual activities as a way of expanding their repertoire for more genuine erotic satisfaction
  • Help couples use sensate focus as a meditative tool to enhance their sexual development

Continued with workshop 314.

Suzanne Iasenza, PhD, is faculty at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and the Postgraduate Program in Couples and Family Therapy of Adelphi University’s Derner Institute. She’s coeditor of Lesbians and Psychoanalysis: Revolutions in Theory and Practice and Lesbians, Feminism, and Psychoanalysis: The Second Wave.

Posted in All Day, Couples, Kids, and Families, Friday Morning: 11 A.M. – 1 P.M, Friday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., workshops | Tagged , , , ,