I am often asked "What expressive arts do you offer?". I offer Group rhythm making, visual arts (drawing with oil pastels), music (toning, singing together, making sound together), drama (elements of improv), writing (elements of story, poetry), sometimes guided meditation/visualization). Ideally all these pieces flow into and out of one another. One energy, many forms of expression speaking to our many learning/expressive styles aswell as physical/emotional availability levels on any given day. No experience is necessary and the workshops are customized to theme, group size and time allotment.
How does Expressive Art Facilitation work? Art is the tool for communication, self-expression and healing. Many Artists and Arts facilitators combine art activities with verbal exploration of the art product to facilitate understanding and spaciousness. The emphasis on art or discussion may vary, depending on the facilitator's approach or the individual's needs.
Do I need to know how to draw? Drawing skill or other artistic ability is not necessary in order to participate in Expressive Arts practices. Art is the tool for communication, self-examination and healing. The value of the art produced in practice lies in what it communicates to the individual and not how it looks. As well, the creative act, in itself, can be healing.
Where will I find an Expressive Arts Art Facilitator? I am an Expressive Arts Facilitator and practice independently with groups at various retreat centers in my area. Your Provincial Art Therapy Association will likely maintain a directory of members in good standing and can direct you to a Licensed therapist in your locality.
What should I know about my Expressive Arts Facilitator? Expressive Arts Facilitators use a variety of approaches depending on their academic background, their client base, and the orientation of their practice. Expressive Arts Facilitation is not a therapeutic modality, though a personal experience of wholeness and well-being may occur as a result of artistic expression.
What should I know about appreciative inquiry? It is a worldview, a theory, a mindset, and an approach: Appreciative Inquiry is an articulated concept that reinforces the habit of mind that moves through the world in a generative frame, seeking and finding images of the possible rather than scenes of disaster and despair. When we dialogue, we look for what is working in your life, your organization, your community. It is a strength based approach. This is not about denying the negative and destructive. It is, rather, about focusing on the positive and the creative as forces for building a more positive future. The knowledge base that supports this approach comes from widely diverse fields such as medicine, sports, behavioral science, anthropology. With this kind of scientific evidence emerging, it makes sense to re-think our approach to organization development. The power of the Western way of knowing is not in dispute. What is up for examination is the limitations of that approach....
Though they are not the same, ask an Expressive Arts Facilitator the same questions you would ask an Art Therapist.
Common questions are as follows, here are my answers:
• What is your educational background? Bachelor's Degree in Communications from McGill University (Honours), Montreal, QC. Facilitating Social Change with the Integrative Learning Institute (ILI), Nelson, BC.
• Where did you receive your Expressive Arts training? Partners for Youth Empowerment Global and Power of Hope Creative Facilitation Workshops Creative Writing Program at Selkirk College with Leesa Dean Graphic design technical Diploma from Rosemount Technology Centre (Montreal, Québec) Commercial Photography (partial credits) at Dawson College (Montreal, Québec) Artistically inclined since childhood (drawing and writing)
What is your professional Background? I have worked in many industries including Film Distribution as a Buyer's Assistant, Graphic Design as a Designer, Marketing and Advertising as a Senior Market Analyst, Career Development as a Career Counsellor. This is my 5th career.
• Would you pass a criminal Record Check? Yes and I have.
• What is your professional/internship experience? I consider it so far to have been : Approximately 5 years experience as an Employment Facilitator and Workshop Facilitator in a Federally funded employment and skills training agency. Multiple Mentoring relationships with youth including a 10 day mentoring position at a Power of Hope Youth Camp in Leavenworth Washington. Continuous professional development is a pleasure in the field of Expressive Arts!
• How long have you been practicing as an Expressive Arts Facilitator? Formally with others: 5 years. Informally, personally and passionately in my own development: my whole life.
• What are your policies on missed appointments? Individuals: Grace for just one time. Second time: the client is responsible for paying the full fee. Organizations: 30 day cancellation policy.
• What professional organizations do you belong to? PYE (Partners for youth empowerment) Global alumna My own conscience. I check in with a life coach regularly because I work with others and owe it to them/you and myself to be as clear as possible. Also, though I work independently, I make it a point to have an expressive arts facilitation mentor, a registered Social Worker, an Occupational Therapist and others, as part of a virtual team that I may consult as needed. This allows me as a Facilitator to have a community of practice.
• What is your status Registered, Professional, Graduate, Student? I am largely self taught in this area and have studied with a number of master facilitators and teachers. I have no official traditional status at this time.