Presenters 19.06.16

SUNDAY 19.06.2016

9.00 – 9.45 Plenary paper, session 1: Kari Rød & Åse Minde


Åse Minde
Professional title: Leader/ Art Psychotherapist
Highest qualification: Art Psychotherapist MA
Main affiliation: Outpatient Clinic on Eating Disorders, Department of Personality Psychiatry, Oslo University Hospital

Kari Rød
Professional title; Head Psychiatrist
Highest qualification: MD, specialist in psychiatry
Main affiliation: Outpatient Clinic on Eating Disorders, Department of Personality Psychiatry, Oslo University Hospital

”From Absence to Presence” – the embodied analyst

Through clinical experience, we have developed a growing concern for the therapist role and the importance of supervision. Just as much as bringing the patient into existence, we want to focus on the presence of the therapist. The therapeutic relationship will always contain multiple layers, awakening both conscious and unconscious material in the mother tongue of art, body and words. It is important to cultivate a therapist with the ability to sense and mirror; this fine tunement between beings. Tuning into the patient’s need, can be complicated to navigate. This requires a therapist in touch with his bodily self and at the same time the bodily other. As therapists we will have moments were we are uncertain on what direction to move, not always aware of our choices; why did I suggest this material, why did I express myself this way? This reveals the importance of timing in therapy, which brings us to the need and necessity of supervision. This presentation will dwell on different supervision models developed at our unit. We will show how responding on patient’s art with art, and reflecting upon it in the multidisciplinary team can make a change and influence the the therapeutic process

9.00 – 9.45 Plenary paper, session 2: Hanne Moellegaard & Merete Boserup

Hanne Møllegård - foto - FullSizeRender MereteBoserupPasfoto

Groupanalytic therapists, Psychotherapeutic team, Psychiatric ward, Odense University Hospital, Denmark

Seeing the embodied and dynamic interaction in art group psychotherapy – Four years of practice and exampels of development in self-rated quality of life

In this presentation, we will show clinical material from a “slow-open group” with eight to nine members, including both sexes, aged 20-26. The members of the group, diagnosed with personality disorders, mostly introvert. The group has weekly sessions of 90 minutes. Each year framed by different poetic themes. Life in the group symbolized by: “Life in a forest”, “Life in nature”, “Life in the city” and “Life in, by and on the sea”.

At the individual assessment interview, the group members draw themselves as a tree with a root, a trunk and a crown. At the monthly, non-verbal common group drawing, each member creates their feelings and thoughts with a symbolic representation of the theme, and inspired by the interactions in the group.

The process includes both art making and verbal expression. We experienced, that the implementing of group drawings has enhanced group cohesion and personal development. The witnessing eyes enable the group members to increase their level of conscious and unconscious communication and stimulate the members to express their individual themes. The group creates its own symbols and history, and the pictures function as container for the embodied emotions, cognition and interaction in the group.


10-10.45 Papers, session 1: Heli Halkosalmi


Art Psychotherapist, Finland


In my final study of Artpsychotherapy training I studied what kind of implications to the ongoing therapeutic relationship would the texts written by the therapist of patients artwork bring. The patient was obmutescence adolescent diagnosed with OCD. The texts were written by the method of free association. How did the texts written by the therapist resonate with the artwork of a patience? What kind of meanings could that resonance reflect to the therapeutic relationship?

A renaissance artist Cennini (1437) described a coalition of an artists creative mind and skilled hand: A hand is an accurate interpreter of an artist´s sentiment and insight. One’s mind does not exist in the brain, but reaches out in to the whole process of finding and creating meanings, including the fingers as part. (Aaltonen 2009). A hand is not only a tool to grab things: it’s essence is possible only for a creature who speaks and therefore also thinks. A hand per se is connected to language. The movements of a hand extend over the language, most purely when a person falls silent. Therefore thinking itself is the easiest and the most demanding handicraft for a human.

The texts written by the therapist increased and enriched the mental images in therapist mind by freeing an ability to associate. That enabled more diverse communication in a therapeutic relationship. Whilst writing the texts the therapist felt confusion related to the very early developmental stage where all the senses are nondivergent, as one. A period during which an infant is about to find himself being separate from his nurturing mother came visible through the therapist’s texts. It is a mystery how and why different artworks of the patient will resonate in therapist mind.

10-10.45 Papers, session 2: Unnur Ottarsdottir

Unnur Óttarsdóttir 10x15

Professional title: Art therapist ATR
Highest qualification: PhD art therapy, MA fine arts, B.ed teaching
Main affiliation: The Reykjavik Academy and lecturer at the Iceland Academy of the Arts

Art Therapy Research, Grounded Theory and Drawn Diagrams

An art therapy research where coursework was integrated into art making and grounded theory was applied to analyze the data will be reviewed in the lecture. The aim of the research was to design, study and test a therapeutic method that would facilitate coursework learning and enhance the emotional well-being in the population selected for the study. As a result of the research a therapeutic method named ‘art educational therapy’ (AET) was originated.

Creativity is integral to both the art therapeutic process and grounded theory. Drawn diagrams which are a part of the grounded theory method are visual representation that depicts ideas in the form of charts, diagrams and drawn images. The subject of drawn diagrams in relation to the art therapy research will be reviewed in the lecture. Arrows, rectangles, circles, connection lines, words and pictures are drawn in the diagrams which make invisible content and context visible. Drawing diagrams stimulates creative and abstract thinking as well as conceptualization. Research requires a tolerance to uncertainty and the drawn diagrams can facilitate a space where uncertainty is potentially more easily tolerated.

10-10.45 Papers, session 3: Mia Sarvanne


Childpsychiatrist, student of Art Psychotherapy, Finland

The traits of prey and predator and human possibilities – some neuroscientific considerations

A newborn baby is very vulnerable and dependent on parents for creating a world where living and growing is possible. Within this world the traits of prey – scanning possible danger – develop during the first months and years of infant life and later affect the adult unconscious expectations and interpretations in human relationships.

Millions of years ago, abilities to gesture, throw and take aim enabled humans to be predators. The prefrontal lobes have specialized to executive functions and along with hunting, give us possibilities to alter and diversify our living environment and aim to a goal.

With our survival and goal orientation, we have also an inborn orientation to attachment figures. Within the first relationships, our capacities to regulate negative affective states, endure stress, experience excitement and enjoy social relationships, develop. Secure attachment allows relaxed states of mind leading to creativity.

None of us is a blank book when born, but a unique texture of genetic material for experience to work on. Within therapeutic setting, we embody our genetic and experimental unique inheritance with the possibility to create, heal and get healed.  


11.00 – 12.30 Workshops, session 1: Silja McNamara


Dance Movement Psychotherapist (MA) Roehampton University, specialised in Bereavement. Also a BA Hons in Dance Theatre and works as a choreographer/dancer for many UK venues

Storytelling through Dance – Embodied Narratives

This is an experimental workshop in which participants are invited to explore their life stories through Authentic Movement experience of moving in a shared experience with others. Dance Movement Psychotherapy relies on the very fact that our bodies, muscles and cells are filled with stories – unfolding them in movement can bring a new way of being with ourselves.

This workshop takes the participants on a journey of discovery through creating and embodying conscious and unconscious material that rises from moving in the space together. The purpose is to explore the intersubjective play of kinesthetic movement narratives creatively. Being witnessed by another can provide a possibility of being seen and sharing a kinesthetic experience together.

Consequently, witnessing also promotes kinesthetic empathy. After each movement experience there will be an opportunity for a short verbal integration: the leader invites the participants to share their experience through words and drawing enabling us to integrate all senses. This workshop gives space for the creative process of the embodied body. Our embodied narratives move beyond words – we can recreate our sense of selves by exploring our kinesthetic narratives.

11.00 – 12.30 Workshops, session 2: Ellen Speert


Registered Art Therapist and Director of the California Center for Creative Renewal
Highest qualification: Registered Art Therapist and Board Certified Art Therapist
Main affiliation: American Art Therapy Association and the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association
Country: United States

ECO-ART THERAPY : Nature as our Embodied Mirror Ellen Speert MEd, ATR-BC, REAT

Eco-art therapy, an emerging discipline within our field, expands our awareness, and creative response to our clients, beyond focus on the individual/family/group/culture to include larger ecological systems as the source of both suffering and healing (Gage, D. and Speert, E). For maximum health, we must embody our primal bond with nature to tap our ecological unconscious (Roszak, T).

This expanded psychological perspective also utilizes an enriched array of art materials to deepen identification with the earth (Biermann, H). Materials found in one’s local environment are not only rich and varied, they bring us into connection with the seasons, regional plants and animals, and provide free media.

This experiential workshop provides a practical understanding of the emerging discipline of eco- art therapy: 1) use of nature as inter and intrapsychic mirror 2) practical use of natural materials as art media and 3) use of art products as a tool for continued interaction between artists and nature.

Eco art therapy builds on the use of art as ritual and an embodied relationship with nature. We will create mandalas using cardboard circles and nature materials from my home in the US and collected locally.

11.00 – 12.30 Workshops, session 3: Asta Sutton


Professional title: Artist and Art Instructor
Highest qualification: Dr. of Arts (Art and Design)
Main affiliation: Owner of Astaart LLC
Country: USA

Mandala Wu-Shin Art TM – A Gate to Your Inner Mind

Individual mandalas, circular drawings, are representations of our inner selves and free creations of fantasy. One needs the commitment to become bold and open minded and experience the art of “no rules” that can be calming, a jump-start to creativity, and increase concentration. No artistic talent is required for the workshop. May cause elevated sense of happiness. Learn five principles developed by Dr. Sutton to free your inner mind.

1. Experience a state of no-mindedness (Wu-Shin)
2. No-judgement, be brave and fearless
3. No planning, be spontaneous and intuitive
4. Accidents as possibilities with unknown outcomes
5. Surrealism automatism, ideas to be linked into another idea

Mandala can be done by drawing, painting, writing, or doodling. Automatic techniques and breathing exercises can be utilized to listen to your inner thoughts and to experience the awareness of the line. Mandala can reveal information about how the person was feeling at the time, or latent unexpressed feelings. In truth, no one can interpret our mandala except ourselves. What you create is true you that you can read later with the interpretation model designed Dr. Sutton. Art can be a tool that improves imagination, engages senses, reveals emotions, and unblocks memories.

11.00 – 12.30 Workshops, session 4: Päivi Suomalainen


Päivi Suomalainen, Expressive Arts Therapist, music instructor, counsellor, Finland

RHYTHM & RESONANCE IN OUR BODIES AND ENCOUNTERS – A music workshop using the methods of Expressive Arts Therapy

We will examine our experiences of our own body rhythms through movement and sound. How do we react meeting other people’s rhythms? Do we really hear and feel them? What about coping with all the diversity of rhythms and situations, accepting something which isn’t familiar to ourselves? Can our rhythms be misunderstood, denied or even forgotten?
Human body and it’s organs resonate in many different ways. Being at least 65% of water, we are ideal for resonances of sounds. How and what are you resonating today? We will use our authentic voices and sounds which need no talent nor practice. There are also different instruments to use both in sound, melody and rhythm.

Rhythm and resonance interact strongly in arts and in therapy. How do we notice rhythm in our client work? How can we resonate better to our client’s needs? And is our own resonance real to ourselves?

This workshop is about embodied hearing and understanding. As The Expressive Arts Therapy’s core is in intermodality, we will use also other art forms than music.