Telling Trauma Through Art Workshops

This 3-part seminar series offers a combination of discussion + case presentation + experiential reflection about psychological trauma and its treatment. Participants explore the ways images illuminate states of mind related to trauma – and how images also serve as a means for trauma’s transformation.

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 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
• experience self-reflection via art-making.
Eva-Marie Stern, RP, MA, Assistant Professor Dept of Psychiatry, U of T is an art therapist and psychotherapist. She co-founded WRAP in 1998 and practices, teaches and supervises within Women’s College Hospital’s Trauma Therapy Program. Her chapter, co-authored with Shelley Wall, “The Visible Curriculum” appears in Health Humanities in Postgraduate Medical Education (Peterkin & Skorzewska, Eds, Oxford University Press, 2018) expands on how looking at and making art vitalize learning in medicine.
Time and place:
Wednesdays January 9, 16, 23, 2019 from 6:30pm-8:00pm
Women’s College Hospital, 7th floor
Open to all Residents, Medical Students, and Learners from other mental health disciplines on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no cost for participation, but enrollment is required, and attendance is expected at ALL three seminar/workshops. Although art-making will happen, no experience is necessary.
For more information and to sign up, please contact:
Sponsored by the office of Post-MD Education and The Program in Health, Arts and Humanities