Archive for the 'Poetry' Category

Poetry Shares Rewarding Brain Effects with Music

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A new study by Adam Zeman and colleagues from the University of Exeter used functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques to find that poetry, compared to prose, uniquely activates brain areas associated with introspection, such as the posterior cingulate cortex and medial temporal lobes.

The research team also found that emotionally charged words activated the same (predominantly right side) areas of the brain that register emotional responses to music, associated with shivers down the spine.

UCLA neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman has reported that putting words to feelings may help with emotion regulation.  His laboratory conducted brain scans of 30 individuals, as they described distressing pictures, and discovered that putting words to feelings reduces activity in the amygdala (a part of the brain associated with emotion and fear) and increases activity in the pre-frontal cortex (responsible for self-regulation).  They also found that the effects were greater for long-hand writing than typing.

Click here to purchase the study.
Zeman A, Milton F, Smith A, Rylance R.  By Heart An fMRI Study of Brain Activation by Poetry and Prose. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2013; 20 (9-10): 132-158(27).

Click here to view the article.
Lieberman, M. D., Eisengerger, N. I., Crockett, M. J., Tom, S. M., Pfeifer, J. H., & Way, B. M. (2007). Putting feelings into words: Affect labeling disrupts amygdala activity in response to affective stimuli. Psychological Science, 18(5), 421-428.

New Online Creative Caregiving Guide

NCCA Creative Caregiving Guide

Imagine a world where every caregiving act for adults with alzheimer’s disease and related cognitive disorders contributes to quality days for both the caregiver and their care partner.

The public is invited to utilize FREE video clips and curriculum materials developed by the National Center for Creative Aging to facilitate cognition, self-expression, movement and social connection in adults living with Alzheimer’s disease and related cognitive disorders.*

The guide is constantly expanding with lessons for additional languages and cultures.

http://creativecaregiving.creativeaging.org/

* Note from Ping Ho, MA, MPH – Founding Director of UCLArts and Healing:

The lessons are applicable to other populations such as special needs and young children.

Activities to deepen the meaning of holidays and special occasions

UCLArts and Healing offered two activities to deepen the meaning of the holidays, that can be used any time of year.

Gifts from the Heart – Art Activity 2014.pdf

Learn to make meaning through a time capsule in this activity offered by art therapist and marriage and family therapist, Erica Curtis.

Gifts from the Heart – Writing Activity 2014.pdf

Write about light as a metaphor to express how you feel or how you feel about someone special in this writing activity by poetry therapist and marriage and family therapist, Perie Longo.

UCLA Integrative Medicine Conference 2014: Creative Arts Therapies Panel

Click here to view the creative arts therapies panel.

Integrative Medicine in the Community through the Creative Arts Therapies:  Experiential Panel Presentations on Creative Arts Therapies at the UCLA Integrative Medicine Conference – March 1, 2014

The creative arts therapies offer accessible, nonverbal and universal tools for facilitating emotional and physical health through a focus on the process of expression, rather than performance or product. The creative arts therapies can offer a humanizing complement to increasingly technological medical care, that can enhance the environment of medicine and address the increasing societal health care burden from chronic diseases rooted in emotions and behavior.

A panel of clinician/scholars from four creative arts therapy disciplines (art therapy, dance/movement therapy, drama therapy, and music therapy) demonstrate how and why the creative arts therapies are so effective as an integrative medicine discipline.  This remarkable presentation features the layering on of each art form in an experiential presentation.

The 2014 Conference for Integrative Medicine panel presenters include:

Ping Ho, MA, MPH (Moderator) – Founding Director, UCLArts and Healing; Steering Committee member, UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine; member of the Council of Advisers for the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care.

Erica Curtis, MFT, ATR-BC – Past President of the Southern California Art Therapy Association; past board member of the American Art Therapy Association; Instructor at Loyola Marymount University Department of Marital and Family Therapy with specialized training in Clinical Art Therapy.  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Board Certified Art Therapist

John Mews, MA, MTA, MFT Registered Intern – Executive Director and Founder: Mewsic Moves; Board Certified Music Therapist, Marriage and Family Therapy Registered Intern; Special Needs Family and Parenting Coach.

Mimi Savage
, PhD Candidate, RDT – Southern California Chapter President of the North American Drama Therapy Association; Registered Drama Therapist; Drama Therapy Fund Professional Research Grant Recipient for 2014; Instructor for UCLArts and Healing SEA Program.

Lora Wilson Mau, MA, BC-DMT – President of the California Chapter of the American Dance Therapy Association; Lecturer at California State University, Long Beach, Department of Dance.  Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist.

Gifts from the Heart: Self-Guided Arts Activities

As our holiday gift to you, three creative arts therapists have provided activities centered on the topic of giving that can be done individually, or with family and friends. These self-guided activities are intended to help deepen the meaning of the holidays and reduce stress.  They also demonstrate how the process of creative expression can be used to bring meaning, self-understanding, empathy, connection to others, and other benefits.

Gifts from the Heart – Writing Activity.pdf

Gifts from the Heart – Art Activity.pdf

Gifts From the Heart – Movement Activity.pdf

Look for more self-guided activities in our e-newsletters in 2014!

Wesleyan student wins award at College National Poetry Slam and bears witness to societal repression of women

Lily Myers, a student at Wesleyan University, performed “Shrinking Women” at the 2013 College National Poetry Slam Invitational at Barnard College and was awarded with Best Love Poem at the competition.  Her poem, which has gone viral,  passionately and movingly articulates in three minutes the societal repression of women and the power of spoken word poetry to bear witness to truth.  Finger snapping heard in the background replaces applause in the slam poetry world, so we can hear more.

Excerpt from the Huffington Post:

“Women in my family have been shrinking for decades,” declares Lily Myers.

Her slam poem, “Shrinking Women,” which won Best Love Poem at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational in April, perfectly expresses the pressure women feel to take up less and less space, to be quiet, to be small and to eat sparingly.

She explains the difference between the ways men and women are socialized to her brother:

You have been taught to grow out, I have been taught to grow in. You learn from our father how to emit, how to produce, to roll each thought off your tongue with confidence. You used to lose your voice every other week from shouting so much. I learned to absorb. I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself. I learned to read the knots in her forehead while the guys went out for oysters.

Finding Poetry in Cancer

Finding Poetry in Cancer

The bare bones of poetry help patients get to the core of how they are feeling. This short and powerful article includes examples of poetry by cancer patients and talks about Dr. Rafael Campo, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, who incorporates poetry into therapy groups and educational materials for his patients, to encourage discussion.