Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spirit Dolls, Altered Books, and Happiness

Hi everyone- Smith Farm tells me April 10th's Spirit Dolls workshop is sold out! Isn't that great? I'm looking forward to working with the artists who attend, making little dolls to embody strengths they'd like to call into their lives...a neighbor gave me her old bead box a few months back (Thanks, Dawne!) and I'm going to get to offer all these wonderful broken jewelry bits to be recycled into positive intention art. I might have to make a few myself!

We are going to do another of our altered books workshops, which sold out in the fall. Altered Books: Exploring Creativity & Identifying Strengths will take place May 1, from 10AM-3PM, and is $45 at Smith Farm in DC. Come explore an art form where old books are recycled into new works of art. Altering books - with paint, collage, beads, found objects, anything! - provides a rich means of exploration, reflection, growth and change. We will use our altered books to record and capture positive emotions as we acknowledge our strengths and gifts. Materials provided. 4.5 CECs Available* To register, call 202.483.8600 or email And you can always take my on-line course for only $25, "Altered Books in Art Therapy" under Art Therapy Theory, Practice and Techniques offered by the American Art Therapy Association here: AATA members get a 28% discount! Then, on a Tuesday evening, the 4th of May, Rebecca and I will be giving our lecture The Art of Happiness: Positive Psychology and the Arts for FREE at Art at the Center, 2804 Sherwood Hall Lane Alexandria,Virgina from 7:00-9:00 pm. Just be sure to RSVP to Come if you'd like to increase life satisfaction, meaning, and engagement for your clients and yourself and discover what makes people of all ages happier, and how to increase personal and professional happiness. Who is happy? Why be happy? Can creative endeavors contribute to happiness, and if so, how? These questions and more will be explored through an introduction to Positive Psychology, the science of happiness. Positive psychology seeks to help us identify and build upon character strengths as tools to increase well being. We will explore the connection between Positive Psychology and the arts and define strategies for using creative endeavors to increase engagement, mastery, and flow.

Objective 1) Attendees will be able to define happiness.
Objective 2) Attendees will be able to list two strategies for implementing Positive Psychology practices to improve life satisfaction.
Objective 3) Attendees will gain experiential knowledge of a creative practice designed to increase engagement, mastery, and flow.

This would be be great lecture for art therapists, counselors, mental health professionals, parents, and really anyone interested in improving happiness in themselves and those around them.

Rebecca and I have been asking for feedback from people who've attend our lectures, and GW student Kelly Heartland told us our teaching was“incredibly empowering and even life-changing. What a gift for me! What a tool to share with others! It truly expands one's perspective.” Wow, Kelly! I am so glad. And when we last did this lecture at Smith Farm, Cynthia Hart wrote me after to say it was, “one of best lectures I've attended in a long time, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.” Us, too! We are proud of the work we are doing as registered and board certified art therapists, and it's so exciting to have taken next steps and co-authored Positive Art Therapy: Envisioning the Intersection of Art Therapy and Positive Psychology, which was published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art Therapy last October. It's so fun to get to share the best of this information with you, so I hope you can make it to some of these Spring 2010 events!

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Gioia Chilton is a registered and board certified art therapist.


Gioia Chilton, MA, ATR-BC

Gioia Chilton, MA, ATR-BC