Silence is an important part of any art therapy intervention, but it is rarely presented as a specific therapeutic tool. On June 22, Dr. Paola Luzzatto explored how silence and words can alternate in individual art therapy sessions and how silence may be used in group art therapy, the open studio, and in art therapy retreats. Attendees included MPS Art Therapy students, alumni, faculty, and on-site supervisors.
The workshop focused on the use of silence in art therapy interventions; the relationship between space, image, therapist, and patient; the various qualities and degrees of silence; and the importance of being in contact with nature. It consisted of writing and art-making exercises, exhibitions of work, contemplation, and walking the seminary grounds. Participants were asked to refrain from speaking for the duration of the 3-hour workshop.
This was the fourth iteration of Dr. Luzzatto’s Silence Workshop that has been offered to the SVA art therapy community. The first was at our annual Art Therapy Conference in 2006, the second and third as part of our Studio Art Therapy in Florence programs in 2007 and 2008.
Paola Luzzatto, PhD, ATR-BC is the founder and former Director of the Art Therapy program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC, and the former Director of Art Therapy Services at West Hembeth Health Authority in London. She received the 2004 Clinician’s Award from the American Art Therapy Association for her work with adults with cancer, and has developed ‘The Creative Journey’, a program for cancer patients that has been incorporated into various art therapy settings. She is the author of Suzanne Wenger: Artist and Priestess, and has lectured throughout the world.