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Creating a Strong Digital Presence on Social Media: Professionally, Ethically, and Creatively

Excited to announce this Philadelphia workshop hosted by Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions’ Creative Arts Therapies Department on December 15, 10-4 pm with 5 CEs, including content in ethics— There is still time to register if you are interested in attending this offering in-person or online via Zoom live webcast.

This workshop presents practical content for creative arts therapists to consider for creating and maintaining a strong digital presence through the use of social media professionally, ethically, and creatively.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Digital boundaries
  • e-Professionalism
  • The impact of ones digital footprint
  • Introduction to ethical frameworks to help inform professional social media activity
  • Important strategies for promoting a presence online aligning with ones work, passions, values, and career interests.
  • Content delivered through lecture, discussion, and creative experientials.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Recognize 3 competences for developing an ethical and professional digital presence
  • Learn 3 strategies for professionally sharing content on social media
  • Identify 3 ethical frameworks and strategies to consider for professional social media use as a mental health professional

Social Media and the Creative Process

This week over on the Creativity in Therapy blog, art therapist Carolyn Mehlomakulu posted Exploring the Stages of the Creative Process – a great read about how the creative process can unfold in art therapy. The post also explores how the creative process and its different stages can continue to be practiced or implemented in everyday life- even when not engaged in art-making.

Social media also has a connection to the creative process and its different stages! Below is an infographic for Chapter 7, Social Media and the Art Therapist’s Creative Practice which explores how social media impacts modern day creative work and suggestions for art therapists to consider for strengthening or adding to their creative practice.

As described in Chapter 7 (p. 137):

Social psychologist Graham Wallas (1926/2014) identified one of the early models of creative thinking, including essential stages of the creative process: preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification. Social media has become an active influence to these well-known steps and aid in how the creative process can now develop for many artists. An adaptable version of Wallas’ stages has been designed to meet the needs of today’s digital culture (LePage, 2015).

 

Social Media and Stages of the Creative Process (Adapted from LePage, 2015) | Illustration by Wiscy Creative Jones, Chapter 7- The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media

How do you use social media to assist with your creative process?

References

LePage, E. (2015, September 3). Social Media and the Creative Process. Retrieved from https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-and-the-creative-process

Miller, G. (2017). The art therapist’s guide to social media: Connection, community, creativity. New York, NY: Routledge.

Wallas, G. (2014). The art of thought. Tunbridge Wells, Kent: Solis Press. (Original work published 1926)

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Fall Workshops Inspired by The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media

Coming this fall….. Workshops inspired by the The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media:

As part of the 2018 Expressive Therapies Summit in New York City, Social Media, The Arts, and Community Engaged Projects (October 12, 7-9 pm) explores the power of the arts and how creative, interactive community based projects using social media can motivate positive change, hope, and well being. Public projects inspired by abandonment art, random acts of kindness, and other creative deeds not only motivate art making, enhance emotional development, and support compassionate acts, but also offer meaningful opportunities to connect and positively influence others that their art comes into contact with, both on and offline. As a result, this inspiration has the possibility to keep spreading its creative message from person to person. Participants will be introduced to art-based projects and experience how-to ideas for implementing this kind of creative chain reaction for use in treatment with clients and ways to facilitate this approach within a therapeutic context for individuals, groups, or communities.  Registration is now open here.

Social Media and Art Therapists: Exploring Our Digital Footprint and Presence Online (November 3, 10:15-11:45 am) will be offered at the 2018 American Art Therapy Association Conference in Miami, Florida.  This workshop invites art therapists to consider and reflect upon the impact of our digital footprint and its influence. Through didactic presentation, experiential art-making, and group discussion attendees will be encouraged to explore topics that foster an awareness about creating a digital presence online that aligns with ones goals, passions, values, and career interests.  Pre-registration required and space availability is limited. Advanced registration is open online until 9/28 via http://www.arttherapyconference.com

Also being included this fall as part of Southwestern College’s Masters in Art Therapy/Counseling Professional Ethics Course and the college’s Masters in Art Therapy for Clinical Professionals, will be an online webinar/guest lecture for students about Social Media and E-Professionalism Considerations for Art TherapistsThis 30 minute webinar presents how art therapists can create a strong professional digital presence through the use of social media. Topics explored include:

  • Digital ecosystems
  • E-professionalism
  • Online disinhibition effect
  • The art of creating a professional digital presence
  • Digital footprint considerations

If you are interested in learning more about how to incorporate this webinar or guest lecture into any of your art therapy coursework, please submit an information request here.

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Past 2018 Events

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Look Back… Media & Technology 1968

It was a pleasure and honor to celebrate the Toronto Art Therapy Institute (TATI)’s 50th Anniversary with an invitation to speak at the Institute’s special gala event held this week. The TATI, founded in 1968, was the first art therapy training program in Canada established by Dr. Martin Fischer, one of the early pioneers in the field.

The evening offered a look back at the TATI’s great history and legacy of art therapy in Canada, as well as an opportunity to give attention to its active presence of faculty, alumni, site supervisors, and students, as well as what the future of the art therapy field holds ahead. This also included looking at the impact of technology on the art therapist, especially in the last 20 years for connection, community, and creativity.

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So what was the media and technology like/starting to emerge in 1968 when TATI was founded?  Here is a fun look back:

  • Color television was just starting to become more conventional in use and the first live, network transmission of video took place (a view inside an orbiting U.S. space capsule).  Now television includes an endless amount of channels and programs for the viewer — through real time and recorded network broadcasting, live streaming, breaking news, DVR recording, Netflix watching, and on the Internet, our mobile devices, and without the use of the conventional television set .
  • Music in 1968 could be played on an 8 track, which was considered the portable format for this time. Video tapes, such as Beta or VHS would not be available until the 1970s.  Now, music and video have become digitized and very portable in the form of MP3s, media sharing and online content communities, YouTube, Vimeo, Pandora, Spotify, Soundcloud, and podcasts are easily accessible through our computers and mobile devices.
  • Computers. Back in 1968, the “Nova” computer which only had 32 kilobytes of memory (!) sold for $8,000.   The computer that navigated the lunar module to the moon was introduced in 1968. Hewlett-Packard (HP) started promoting the first desktop computer this year too. The Internet as we now know it was very much undefined, but the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was starting to be developed in the early 1960s, which became the technical beginnings of the World Wide Web and Internet.  ARPANET published its first program plan and made its first network transmission the following year.  50 years later computers are less expensive, hold lots and lots of memory in miniature form, and is widely used by the masses (not just researchers, scientists, and academics) everyday, everywhere, anytime. The Internet (and now Wi-Fi too) instantly connects us to endless sites, networks, people, places, news, apps, experiences, and more all around the world.

Art therapists now live in a world of glocality (where the local and global co-exist!)  where we can easily connect to and virtually engage with our colleagues, beyond our local, regional, and national surroundings.  Platforms and programs like Skype, Zoom Facebook Live, What’s App, and more allow us to communicate and interact with one another.  The benefits of this connection are many- such as but not limited to:

  • Decreases isolation
  • Provides relational support
  • Obtain and exchange resources
  • Collegial engagement
  • Professional belonging
  • Creates opportunities for advocacy and awareness

The Internet has also held the concept of community as an important value to its early activity. Online resources and virtual spaces for art therapists were already surfacing in the mid 1990s, 15 years before social media really became widely embraced and used.  For example, Toronto art therapist, TATI alumna and faculty member Petrea Hansen-Adamidis created Art Therapy in Canada in 1996, the very first online web resource and forum in Canada. Learn more about Petrea’s experience and pioneering efforts with technology in this Art Therapists on the Grid interview here.

Online virtual communities can help art therapists:

  • Share and exchange information
  • Learn from one another
  • Create a sense of belonging
  • Strengthen professional identity

In addition, we can also keep strengthening our global digital citizenship as art therapists. We can enhance our understanding about the societal impact of living in a world without geographical boundaries due to technology and our use of social media.

This awareness first includes an individual understanding about how our personal and professional conduct online can impact the profession’s global digital footprint and art therapy’s international integrity. Having respect for the self, others, and what we access or engage with online deserves attention. Choosing to engage in online environments with empathy, compassion, generosity, and benevolence acknowledges the powerful influence our connections and interactions have on overall well-being, relationships, and creating community.  It also recognizes how we as art therapists have a valuable role in helping create a better digital world through our online presence and example.

Thank you to TATI for the opportunity to celebrate their historic milestone and include a little bit about technology and how it connects us all together, not just now but will continue to in the future. The media, programs, methods, and ways art therapists use technology will keep changing, developing, and offer new possibilities beyond our imagination for the future of the field… Also exciting to keep watching is how art therapists and future art therapists keep contributing to this digital landscape!

Congrats to TATI on their 50th year and here’s to 50+ more! 🙂

Social Media Day 2018

Today officially marks Social Media Day- a day of recognition founded by Mashable in 2010 as an opportunity to celebrate the worldwide power and influence social media has had on our lives.

 

Throughout this year art therapists and art therapy students have engaged in social media workshops inspired by The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media. One of the fun areas explored through discussion and art making includes exploring digital ecosystems with social networking, including thinking back on the first social media sites used, in what ways, and where we were in life at this time.  Also explored are the challenges, anxieties, enthusiasm, and possibilities experienced- personally, professionally, and creatively. What do you remember about your social media engagement back in the “early days” or when you created your first social media account?

The impact of social media over the last decade on the field of art therapy has certainly been tremendous— and with today’s celebration of social media, below is a round up reflection of posts and resources inspired by the love of social media for an art therapist’s connection, community, and creativity! This list includes art therapy online groups, blogs, videos, links, and information for art therapists about social media, professional practice, and ways to learn more about navigating or strengthening our connection within this digital landscape:

Also in celebration of Social Media Day, you are invited to share below any social media memories you have as an art therapist or how social media has impacted your connection, community, or creativity in the art therapy community- 🙂 Up to five responses will be randomly chosen at the end of this week-end (Sunday, July 1, 5 pm EST/US) to receive a free Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media sticker sheet!  Happy Social Media Day!

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The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media Sticker Sheets!

STICKER SHEETS!

8 x 11 inch UV coated white vinyl multi-sticker sheet of 6 different designs inspired by The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media. A fun way to show your love of art therapy, use of social media, connection, community, and creativity!

Designed by the book’s Illustrator Nate Fehlauer of Wiscy Jones Creative:

BookStickerSheet(Front)

8-x-11-White-Vinyl-Sticker-Sheets Liner (Back Liner)

$5.00 USD  (includes US shipping)

Please note: If interested in international shipping, please email info@arttherapistsguidetosocialmedia.com for more information.

Buy Now

A collection of sticker sightings as seen on Instagram!

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Spring 2018 Events

There are a couple of events taking place this spring inspired by The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media:

On the campus of Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania on Monday, April 16 I will be presenting a free community lecture sponsored by the school’s undergraduate art therapy program. The evening event (6-7:30 pm) also includes 1.5 free continuing education credits (CEU sign in and registration 5:15-6 pm) available for ATR-BCs, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors.

Social Media: Connection, Community, and Creativity will explore how social media can enhance and strengthen professional engagement, collegial relationships, and creative practice. Discover how, as mental health professionals we can take a meaningful look at some of the challenges and benefits that social media can have on the clients we serve, the therapeutic relationship, and how to best navigate social media with purpose and responsibility in our own use. The significance and value of digital community for professionals will also be explored and its role in building knowledge, cultivating collegiate relationships and exchange, support, and professional identity. Finally, the role of how social media sites can also support creative drive, artist identity, and enthusiasm for art making and art-based endeavors will be presented. Meet the author and book signing to follow the event.

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This all day workshop on Saturday, April 28 is presented by the New York Art Therapy Association and will be held on the campus of New York University in New York City and includes 6 ethics of continuing education for ATR-BCs and LCATs (and for less than $100!).

The morning program, Bridging Social Media’s Digital Divide: Navigating Ethical Considerations as Art Therapists will be a didactic presentation looking at some of the challenges and benefits that social media can have on the clients we serve, the therapeutic relationship, and how to best navigate social media as an art therapist with purpose and ethical responsibility in our own use. Content will explore the role and influence social media can have on our lives and work, both negative and positive , as well as the challenges art therapists may face in their social media use related to privacy and  boundaries. Practical suggestions to help minimize potential risks will be also be presented, including strategies to help empower an art therapist’s digital presence with professional responsibility.

The afternoon program, Empowering Our Digital Presence: Art Therapists and Social Media Workshop explores how art therapists can empower their digital presence online with mindful attention to digital boundaries, ones digital footprint, and the ways we navigate social media personally, professionally, and creatively. Attendees will use art making to discover and learn more about these digital landscapes, the challenges art therapists can face, and ways we can leverage social media and ethical frameworks to promote our professional interests, values, and work.

An author Q&A and book signing will follow the event.  To register, visit this link.

Looking forward to seeing friends and colleagues from the art therapy community, as well as anyone interested in the event topics at both of these offerings!