In preparation for our 2017 Annual Conference, taking place on September 8, 2017, we asked our guest speakers to introduce themselves and say a bit about their work. We’ll be posting about each of them, one at a time, on a weekly basis throughout the summer. Up first, Karen Gibbons discusses her work with art therapy and yoga, and how her work relates to the conference theme of innovation and integration:
The practice of art therapy is one where the ability to integrate and innovate is important. Reflecting on the theme of the conference, it seems to me that integration IS innovation. There was a time when integrating art with psychotherapy was innovative. The field of art therapy came about because of the innovation of its pioneers, and the particular benefits associated with their novel approach.
For the conference, I will be talking about my work integrating yoga and art therapy. I was originally inspired to do this when I was a student at SVA. I wrote my thesis on this topic because as an art therapy student and a newly minted yoga teacher, I realized that yoga and art therapy had a similar goals: enhancing self-awareness. Combining the two seemed exciting and promising. I was optimistic that my thesis findings would be successful because, in a sense, integration was not innovative at all, but common sense. For someone trained in both areas, I wanted to have the healing qualities of yoga and art available in order to provide the best possible treatment for my clients.
Perhaps the innovation comes from being willing to take on the novelty of an integrative approach. The reason I wrote a book about my approach using yoga and art was to show how accessible innovation and integration can be, and to create a tool to share my approach with others.
Karen Gibbons, ATR-BC, LCAT, PYT
Karen Gibbons is a board certified and NY State licensed art therapist. She completed her MPS at the School of Visual Arts in 2005. She is also a registered yoga teacher, and in 2013 completed Integrative Yoga Therapy’s (IYT) Professional Yoga Therapist certification. Karen has worked with varied populations including children in schools, people who are mentally ill/chemically addicted, and court involved youth. Currently Karen is working in private practice and running groups for several non-profits focusing on her specialty, combining yoga with art therapy. Karen’s 2015 book on the topic is titled Integrating Art Therapy and Yoga Therapy; Yoga, Art and the Use of Intention.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more information on our guest speakers.