Telling Trauma Through Art Seminars

Telling Trauma Through Art

This three-part seminar series offers a combination of discussion/case presentation/experiential reflection on psychological trauma and its treatment. Participants explore the ways images illuminate states of mind related to trauma – and also serve as a means for its transformation.

The series is open to all psychiatry an medical residents, medical students, and learners from other clinical disciplines. Although art-making will happen, art-making experience/confidence is not necessary. There is no cost for participation, but enrolment is required (see below).

Why use art to learn about trauma?
Trauma can be seen as the unspeakable that demands expression and will take it in many non-verbal forms. Secrets and silence are its common idiom. In treating trauma, psychodynamic therapy greatly benefits from fluency in the world of images. The mind’s use of images in grasping, organising and resolving trauma is constant, creative and effective — whether or not these pictures are ever made visible. Images are the media of post-traumatic re-experiencing, avoidance, and intrusion. How we understand and respond to these images — whether in visual art, metaphors, body markings, dreams or flashbacks — significantly affects the process and outcome of therapy.

• a guided practice of looking at images made in and out of therapy,
• participants’ own image-making, and
• conversation about the echoes between visual marks and states of mind that create them,

Learners will:
• better grasp the languages of distress, the possible meanings of non-verbal expression, and explore ways of attending to what can’t yet be said in therapy;
• learn about uses of visual art in therapy;
• learn about a clinically helpful way of looking at art;
• gain experience in self-reflection via art-making.

Time and place:
Wednesdays November 8, 15, 29 from 6:15pm-7:45pm
Women’s College Hospital, 7th floor

To enroll, contact:

Eva-Marie Stern, MA, RP, Clinical Member: Ontario Society of Psychotherapists, Adjunct Lecturer, Dept of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, co-founded WRAP in 1998. She practices, teaches and supervises within Women’s College Hospital’s Trauma Therapy Program and in private practice.