Art Therapist on the Grid: Lani Gerity

Art Therapists on the Grid: Art Therapy Meets Social Media Conversations is a weekly interview series this summer featuring a variety of art therapists and how they use the power of the Internet and social media in relationship to sharing their work with others, professional development, nurturing creativity, cultivating community and more.

This interview features Lani Gerity, DA, ATR a puppet-maker, author, world traveller, and a trained art therapist with a master’s degree and a doctorate from New York University (NYU). Lani studied with art therapy pioneer Edith Kramer and edited Edith’s last book, Art as Therapy and Creativity and the Dissociative Patient as well as articles and chapters in other’s books. Lani is also co-editor of the forthcoming book, The Legacy of Edith Kramer- A Multifaceted View to be published by Routledge in December 2017.

Lani maintains a website, blogs, and online groups filled with encouragement and alternative arts for artists, art therapists, and art educators. In 2006, she founded the online art community 14 Secrets for a Happy Artist’s Life. 14 Secrets created a safe space online where art therapists and other artists could come together in a “virtual art studio” to inspire art making, exchanging, and support creative practice.

“Art inspired activity in the form of exchanges, collaborations, prompts, and dialogue in the virtual creative space of 14 Secrets explores themes related to resilience, generosity, as well as concepts rooted in positive psychology and self care. Gerity’s innovative use of the Internet at this time offered an important need among art therapists longing to reconnect with or sustain personal art making for their own well-being.” (Chapter 7- Social Media and the Art Therapist’s Creative Practice, The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media)

In this chat, Lani shares:

  • inspirations and influences that helped form and develop 14 Secrets
  • the value of online art communities and the virtual art studio concept
  • how social media can intersect with creative daily practice
  • how Edith Kramer’s mentoring & values impact Lani’s own happy artist’s life online and beyond

Listen to the interview:

Learn more about Lani’s creative work and connect to her online here:

Other inspiration & resources mentioned in our conversation:

 

  • Gretchen Miller’s round robin book from a 14 Secrets mail art project. Page by Lani Gerity (2009).

    Thank you to Lani for contributing to this series and all her inspiration on and offline- Stay connected for another art therapist interview next week! 🙂

Previous Interviews:

Art Therapist on the Grid: Petrea Hansen-Adamidis

Art Therapists on the Grid: Art Therapy Meets Social Media Conversations is a weekly interview series this summer featuring a variety of art therapists and how they use the power of the Internet and social media in relationship to sharing their work with others, professional development, nurturing creativity, cultivating community and more.

Before the arrival of what we all know now as social media there were art therapists in the 1990s who were already leading the way on the Internet to connect members of the art therapy community with information, resources, and discussion sites, as well as a way to inform the public about art therapy. This week’s chat features Petrea Hansen-Adamidis DTATI, RCAT, RP a Registered Art Therapist and Registered Psychotherapist. In 1996, Petrea created one of the first art therapy sites that was online, ArtTherapyinCanada (archived at adamidis.ca).  It is fun to visit Petrea’s old site to remember what art therapy resources and sites often looked like 20+ years ago! It is great to show Petrea’s original site to art therapy students as an example of the early days of online connection for art therapy. How things have changed!  In this conversation, Petrea talks about what inspired her to create her first site and how she uses social media now to share her work and creative interests as an art therapist and artist. 

Petrea has been working in the field of art therapy for over 22 years and for the past 15, has worked as an Expressive Arts Therapist in an outpatient services program at a large children’s mental health center in Toronto, Ontario.  Petrea additionally works as an art therapist clinician, providing trauma assessments and treatment in parent-child expressive arts therapy. She is also an art therapy supervisor and instructor at The Toronto Art Therapy Institute. As part of her private practice, Petrea runs self-exploration art workshops for health, wellbeing, and self-care in Toronto and also offers online expressive arts e-courses.

From Petrea’s current site relaunched as arttherapist.ca:  

“When I first began this site over 15 years ago, I was a newly trained Art Therapist, eager to share with the world the wonderful world of art therapy. It was one of the first pages up on the Internet with resources on art therapy including information about associations around the world. art therapy books, conference announcements, plus my own workshops.”

My first online community, The Art Therapy Student Networking Forum that I founded as a graduate student in the late 1990s (hosted then on Delphi Forums) was one of the many resources that Petrea included on her site, which was very cool and something we chat about!

Listen to our interview here:

Learn more about Petrea’s work and connect to her online:

Other resources mentioned in our conversation:

Thank you to Petrea for sharing her inspiring experiences, then and now! Stay connected for a new interview next week as this series continues…

Previous Interviews:

Art Therapist on the Grid: Carolyn Mehlomakulu

Art Therapist on the Grid: Carolyn Mehlomakulu

Today launches Art Therapists on the Grid: Art Therapy Meets Social Media Conversations, a weekly interview series this summer featuring a variety of art therapists and how they use the power of the Internet and social media in relationship to sharing their work with others, professional development, nurturing creativity, cultivating community and more!

 

It is such a pleasure to kick off this series with Carolyn Mehlomakulu, LMFT-S, ATR, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Supervisor and a Registered Art Therapist. In her private practice based in Austin, Texas, Carolyn works with children, teens, and families to overcome struggles like depression, anxiety, and trauma. Carolyn graduated from the MFT and Art Therapy program at Loyola Marymount University in 2007. She started the Creativity in Therapy blog in 2012 to share about art therapy and creativity with other counselors, therapists, and art therapists.

I invited Carolyn to contribute to this interview series as an opportunity to share more about her intentions, reflections, and tips about blogging as a way to inspire and help other art therapists new to or interested in this type of digital connection. Carolyn also shares some of the challenges and benefits she has experienced as a blogger.

 

Listen to our interview here:

You can also read about Carolyn’s blogging experience in The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media coming in October:

I started blogging during a transitional point in my life and career. At that point I knew that I wanted to start a private practice soon and thought that blogging would help establish my professional identity online, as well as demonstrate expertise as an art therapist. I was also at a point where I had completed my ATR and was feeling more confident in my abilities as an art therapist, so I liked the idea of sharing knowledge and teaching others through a blog. As a student and early therapist, I had often wanted more resources for new art therapy ideas. Of course there are a lot more resources now (both online and books), but creating the blog was still a way to give to others what I had been wanting in the past and found lacking. Another benefit of the blog that helps me stay motivated to keep working on it is the ways that it keeps me connected to my identity as an art therapist and encourages me to keep learning and developing my skills. Coming up with new ideas for the blog means that I need to keep learning, read books and blogs for ideas from others, talk to my colleagues about their art therapy approaches, and try new things with my own clients. I also mention sometimes on the blog that I often need a project or challenge to prioritize my own art-making. Consistently blogging means I am frequently making art and trying new techniques so that I can share examples and experiences on the blog.

Creativity in Therapy is a great resource– I hope you will check out Carolyn’s blog here and subscribe to her future posts…Thank you to Carolyn for sharing her experiences here!

Learn more about Carolyn’s work and connect to her online here:

Stay connected for a new interview next week!