Friday, November 20, 2009

AATA Conference (quick, before Shabbat!)

I have a few minutes before Shabbat starts so here is today's AATA Conference review.

I woke up really late and missed the keynote, but I heard it wasn't too exciting, so okay. I overslept because I was up late freaking out about my cat who decided to eat something she wasn't supposed to and had to be taken to the emergency vet by JewishGuy. Awesome. She's going to be okay, though, at least that was my last update.

So the first thing I went to was going to be a panel about mistakes with working with adolescents and using those mistakes for future lessons... I gave it about 15 minutes, and was like, okay, today I am not going to sit in on presentations I'm not interested in, and got up and left. I went to another session instead. This was the lesson learned from yesterday's missing an awesome presentation because I was for some reason afraid to leave the room.

  • Sexually Abusive Adolescents and Self Portraits
    This was the presentation I went to instead of the one about making mistakes with adolescents. This was actually really cool - they had the adolescents take photos, then printed the photos onto transparencies, which were then projected onto the wall and then traced. It was great to hear how successful this is (I have heard of this technique before). I wonder what this would be like at my site... Also they mentioned that as long as they have been tracking discharges, 80% of their clients who are discharged have not offended again. Wow.

  • Art studio time
    After lunch I spent some time in the art studio. I took a photo of the studio (with my phone) which eventually I will upload. It was so peaceful and relaxing. I met a few people while making art, one person is an alumnus from my program. I love the art studio... the classic "networking" events don't really necessarily make sense for art therapists, many of whom rely on their artwork for much of their communication with other people they don't know - ie: clients... So it's in the art studio that I feel most outgoing and comfortable.

  • YOWSA: The influence of the art therapist's delight by Bruce Moon
    Bruce is a great presenter. His group sounded something like some of the groups I lead, except that he is clearly a much more experienced art therapist and is better able to hold a safe space. My groups are not very safe. I'm not very good at that right now, especially with this population. I'm working on it, though. It was great to hear his success though :) It was great to hear that he let group members sit and not make art for as many sessions as they needed, they could just sit and listen to music if they wanted. Maybe I should be more relaxed about that, too.

  • Attempt at jewelry making workshop
    It wasn't clear that there was a sign-up for the workshop. I was excited when I found out Shabbat started a bit after 5 because the workshop was at 4pm and I had originally thought Shabbat started at 4. When I showed up, though, they turned me away :( Instead, I made a card that will be sent to a soldier wishing him/her a happy holiday season and then came back to the room.

  • Observant Jewish art therapists networking
    I have met a few shomer Shabbat people here, and one person suggested that since I am staying in the hotel for Shabbat maybe I could lead Kabbalat Shabbat services... so I put a note on the community bulletin board inviting people to join me at 5:45. She let me borrow her siddur for Shabbat so I could do the service, so we'll see!
Okay time to go!!! Shabbat Shalom!

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