On Friday six of our students loaded up and headed to Chicagoland for the annual Illinois Art Therapy Association Conference. We left VERY early Friday morning, spent the day in Chicago on Friday and headed out to St. Charles Friday night. Saturday we spent the day listening to speakers, having interesting conversations, and attending workshops! The topic of the conference was titled The Elephant in the Room: A creative dialogue on power, politics, and violence.
Friday night we attended the IATA kick-off event hosted by the YWCA in Chicago. At the kick-off we were split into groups of 4-6 and were instructed to make grounding stones. This was actually a really great directive! You need small stones, magazine clippings, glue sticks, and mod podge. The idea is that the stone is something to hold in your hand or keep in your pocket to keep you grounded or help you come back to being grounded if things get floaty. Here are the stones we made:
The events for Saturday were at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles. Some of our favorite presentations/discussions were Exploring Our Defining Experiences of Power and Identity: The Rapist, An Alternative Spelling of Therapist
with Pat B. Allen, Say It Out Loud, Release and Connect in Relationship: Gently Using Art, Mindfulness, and Somatic Experiencing to Truly Connect with Melissa J. Hedlund, Authority vs. Power: Art Therapy Leadership From The Inside Out with Heather Leigh, and Stigmatization or Solidarity? A Dialogue About Art Therapists’ First-Hand Experience with Mental Illness with Cathy Moon.
Here are a few more pictures from our time at IATA and in Chicago:
It was a weekend with lots of driving, very little sleep, many belly laughs and thoughtful conversations, as well as some not-so-thoughtful ones. :) We’re all very excited for future IATA conferences and for AATA in Minneapolis this summer!