SVA MPS Art Therapy goes to Harvard University

Val  Sereno, Coordinator of Special Programs and Projects and Faculty member of the SVA MPS Art Therapy Department, attended Harvard University’s Creativity in Management course this March.

Through lectures, examples and exercises, the course covered creative thinking in an individual’s personal and professional life as well as addressed tools and techniques to help overcome challenges and improve creativity. Some of the topics discussed were how to discover your creative strengths, work through setbacks, and the importance of resilience. Participants traveled from places like Oslo, Mexico City, Santa Fe, and Los Angeles to attend the course.

Creativity myths were debunked as well. For example: Myth#1:  the smarter you are, the more creative you are. In fact, intelligence correlates with creativity only to a point.  Myth #2: Creativity is a solitary act. Studies show that a very high percentage of the world’s most important breakthroughs are products of collaboration among groups of people with complementary skills.  Myth #3: The young are more creative than the old.  Age is not a clear predictor of creative potential. It takes 7-10 years to build up deep expertise in a given field.

The importance of divergent and convergent thinking was thoroughly discussed. Both are important and a break-down of some of the differences is shown in the following slides. What do creative people do?

Preparation/Saturation/Incubation/Illumination/Verification
Through preparation/saturation they immerse themselves in whatever they are trying to figure out.  Read everything on the topic and learn as much as possible.  Incubation they find it is helpful to take a step away from whatever the problem or challenge is, or to “sleep on it”. Illumination/verification is the enlightened moment and  verification is time to test it.

Val will be imparting this knowledge to students in the courses she teaches, Community Access Through the Arts and Multicultural Issues in Art Therapy, as many of the inspiring strategies that were presented are learnable skills.

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