Review of Lisa Mitchell's 1/31/16 workshop
by Megan Thomas, NDNU Student Liaison
When was the last time you named the unspoken? Or brainstormed sixty uses for a stool? Have you ridden the train for the sake of unblocking your creative process the way Richard Serra often does? How often do your thoughts include the word ‘should’? Lisa Mitchell has clarified the creative process, and it involves all these puzzle pieces. As a dynamic model, the anatomy of a painter’s process and a therapy session involve many of the same core concepts. Her upcoming book release: “Creativity as a Co-Therapist” supports her ongoing educational efforts to help therapists grab onto an idea with a light hand and a committed heart.
Her workshop on a sunny afternoon at San Francisco’s beautiful Fort Mason drew participants through the error-phobic constructs of our culture as manifested in evidence-based practice, managed healthcare systems, and a mark orientation that prioritizes the product over the process. Yet, in the creation of both art and mental health, the process of incubating an idea, pursuing a wide breadth of learning, and playfully facing the unknown help guide us via process to insight and resonance. By making artists blocks, participants explored what steps in the creative process they are often frozen in. Exposed to a beautifully synthesized presentation of theory, artist quotes, and real examples, we were shown a path towards flow and creative therapy. Experiences of anxiety and flow can co-occur, compassion and empathy can facilitate the healing dialogue, and the restorative process of creative expression is something without a right or a wrong. Lisa Mitchell reminded us to practice what we preach, to be kind to ourselves and to adopt the amateur spirit in a cycle of exploration and experimentation.
This blog is authored by members of our board, regional representatives and by various guest authors who are NorCATA members.