On Saturday, February 29th, 2020, the FSU Art Therapy Association presented the annual spring art therapy workshop, Body-Mind; Alone Together, facilitated by Dr. Einat Metzl, PhD, LMFT, ATR-BC, CST. Dr. Metzl received her PhD from Florida State University and is currently a professor and chair at Loyola Marymount University and a marriage and family art therapist. Current students, prospective students, faculty, and community members gathered for a day-long exploration of art therapy and mind-body connectivity.
The workshop began with an overview of the theoretical framework of somatic and Jungian approaches to art therapy, including an explanation of how art therapy can help identify experiences in the body and relate them to deeper experiences within the mind. After this, participants created body maps by outlining their torsos and painting, drawing, or collaging their figure to reflect bodily sensations relating to a mental intention. Participants were invited to hang their creations on the wall and reflect on their artworks in small groups. The small groups shared their artwork with each other to explore the symbolism that related to their bodily sensations, as well as deeper meanings that came up while processing the artwork. Meg Buzby, a current student in FSU’s art therapy program, shared:
When creating my own body map, I experienced firsthand the process of checking in with my bodily sensations, fleshing them out through my art process, and repeating this pattern of coming back into the changes in how I was communicating with my own body. This is one of those processes that I couldn’t possibly lead a client through without having practiced it myself. I am grateful to Dr. Metzl for leading us through the challenging activity and allowing us to experience our holistic self through artistic expression.
The afternoon portion of the workshop focused on the clinical application of topics discussed in the morning session. It began with a focus on cultural humility as a framework for working with clients. She then gave an overview of emotionally focused therapy and sex therapy in relation to working with couples. Participants were invited to engage in a role play art therapy activity to synthesize and apply the topics of the workshop to a therapeutic situation. One participant was asked to take on the role of an art therapist, where the other group members were asked to take on the role of a couple seeking therapy for a specific issue of their choosing.
The workshop ended with participants taking selfies with their body maps and with their groups as a closing ritual. The FSU Art Therapy Association would like to thank Dr. Metzl for facilitating the 2020 Spring workshop!