CATA ConferenceThe Canadian Art Therapy Association is holding its annual conference in Edmonton on October 18-21, 2012. The conference is sold out but CATA is inviting reporters to cover the conference as their guest.  Art Therapy, as a diverse and growing field across Canada, provides services to a spectrum of client populations in settings such as schools, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, the justice system, mental and medical health care, elder care and private practice. The conference theme of Ever-Widening Circles invites connections with: art therapy, arts based research, arts in social action, arts in education and spirituality.

The profession of Art Therapy has come of age in Edmonton!”, says Ara arker, Associate Chair of the Art Therapy Program at St Stephen’s College. “As a premier educator in the training of art therapists in Canada, St Stephen’s is honoured to serve as the host of this year’s conference. The conference will showcase advances in bringing the power of creativity to the healing process in mental health, well-being and social services in Canada.

Keynote  presenters are, Dr. Bruce Moon and Catherine Hyland Moon. Bruce Moon, is a professor, chair of the art therapy department, and the director of the graduate art therapy program at Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Cathy Moon is the Program Director and an Associate Professor in the Art Therapy Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Workshops include:

Masks, Counter Masks and the Autonomic Nervous System

MaskThis is a practical and experiential workshop led by Charles Chenard. Participants will explore a fun yet safe way to teach people how they can rebalance the autonomic nervous system. In addition, participants will integrate masks, movement, post-modernism, neuroscience, narrative therapy and Jungian art therapy to deepen the understanding about emotions and opening hearts. No theatrical knowledge or experience is needed.

Charles Chenard is a social worker and a student in the Masters in Psychotherapy and Spirituality—Art Therapy Specialization program at St. Stephen’s College. He has been involved in more than 50 theatre productions and is a founding member of the University of Alberta mirror theatre with Dr. Norris. He is a counsellor with the Strathcona County Family and Community Services in Sherwood Park, AB.

Little Piece of My Soul: Wrapped Doll Making

DollIn this hands-on workshop led by Jhan Groom, participants will learn an effective therapeutic technique that creates a 6” – 8” doll by wrapping and tying fabric around a padded wire armature. Basic materials will be provided; participants are encouraged to bring fabric and objects to use on their doll to make it uniquely theirs.

Jhan Groom has a BA in psychology and a Diploma in Art Therapy from Kutenai Art Therapy Institute. Currently she works as a child and youth case manager / art therapist at a second stage shelter for women and children leaving abuse. She is working on a Master’s of Counselling Psychology with Yorkville University.

See the Conference Overview, Presentations and Background on the Presenters

If you are a working journalist in Alberta, you’re invited to request a media pass and attend the conference as CATA’s guest. To arrange for a media pass call Janet Stalenhoef at 780-464-1525 or by email at before October 15, 2012.

What is Art Therapy?            

Art Therapy uses the creative process of art-making and client reflection to improve and enhance mental, physical and emotional well-being of individuals.

The Canadian Art Therapy Association

Founded in 1977, CATA is a not-for-profit organization founded; to promote the profession of art therapy in Canada, encourage growth of art therapy among its membership within the community, maintain national standards or professionalism, and promote research and publication. For more info see the CATA website.