On Saturday, February 20th, a diverse group of students, program applicants, and members of the community attended the FSU Art Therapy Association’s (ATA) annual spring workshop. This year’s guest lecturer was Dr. Lisa Hinz, a licensed clinical psychologist, registered art therapist, and the author of Drawing from Within: Using Art to Treat Eating Disorders and Expressive Therapies Continuum: A Framework for Using Art in Therapy. The workshop ran from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The morning included registration, a continental breakfast, and a three-hour lecture, which focused on utilizing the Expressive Therapies Continuum in a therapeutic setting to evoke change and aid clients in their growth. Lunch was provided in the afternoon and the workshop concluded with a hands-on art activity.
Dr. Hinz presented on the Expressive Therapies Continuum (a framework developed by Dr. Vija Lusebrink to facilitate the use of art in therapy) and its
application in clinical settings, one’s own life and self-care practice. As explained by Dr. Hinz, the Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC) is a foundational theory that solidifies the field of art therapy. The ETC is a continuum that organizes and structures knowledge and provides art therapists an effective way to communicate with clients of various modalities. The ETC can be characterized as developmental, hierarchical, levels bipolar, descriptive, prescriptive, and transtheoretical.
Dr. Hinz explained that the ETC is comprised of equally important levels (Kinesthetic/Sensory level, Perceptual/Affective level, Cognitive/Symbol level, and Creativity) that have a curvilinear relationship. In addition, each level has reparative and emergent healing functions that represent a potential direction of the client’s future growth. As Dr. Hinz explained each level of the ETC, she referred to a case study of a 15-year-old Latin American female with Anorexia Nervosa. Dr. Hinz used the case study to describe how she moved this client along the continuum. Through 2 weeks of intensive art therapy utilizing the ETC as a guide, the client was effectively able to reach each level, explain the origin of her eating disorder, portray her emotions through her artwork, and increase her creative self-confidence.
According to Dr. Hinz, the ETC offers a way to conceptualize an enriched life. Seeking experiences with a wide variety of modalities leads to an “intentional” or purposely enriched life and “flow.” Dr. Hinz described flow to be a mental state achieved after mastering a challenging activity characterized by highly focused attention, moments of peak joy, and a long-lasting feeling of well-being. An enriched life that contains flow is more likely to be balanced and optimally healthy.
Before concluding the lecture, Dr. Hinz challenged the audience to assess their own lives using an ETC Self-Care Assessment she designed. Test takers rank and assess how well they self-care on kinesthetic/physical, sensory, perceptual, emotional, cognitive, and symbolic activities on a scale of 0-3.
Following lunch, Dr. Hinz introduced an art-making portion activity where participants were able to create their own self-care books utilizing the knowledge they gained during the lecture.