Archive for the 'Writing' Category

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.

Re-Write Your Life

Mindset Book 3

A New York Times blog by Tara Parker-Pope offers examples of studies that show how changing your narrative can change the trajectory of your life.   Scroll down to see the blog.

The examples that she cites suggest that changing one’s story contributes to a growth mindset that is associated with learning and achievement.

According to Carol Dweck, of the Stanford University Department of Psychology, those with growth mindsets seek challenges for an opportunity to learn and those with fixed mindsets of intelligence avoid challenges that lead to self-judgment.

Research from Dweck’s lab has shown that exposure to even simple messages (e.g., “You must have tried really hard”) can have a profound effect on academic performance, and that parental messages heard by children from ages 1-3 determine their mindsets by ages 7-8.

When we re-write our stories, not only do we change our mindsets, but also we visualize new outcomes, which register in the brain as if real, hardwire us for new behavior, and can even change our memory of past events.

Click here to view a TED Talk by Carol Dweck.

Click here if you are interested in a teleseminar on re-writing your life, which will enable participation from far and near from the comfort of home.

Blog post by Tara Parker-Pope

The scientific research on the benefits of so-called expressive writing is surprisingly vast. Studies have shown that writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory.

Now researchers are studying whether the power of writing — and then rewriting — your personal story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness.

The concept is based on the idea that we all have a personal narrative that shapes our view of the world and ourselves. But sometimes our inner voice doesn’t get it completely right. Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health.  Read More… Continue reading ‘Re-Write Your Life’

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.

Insight and inspiration on writing from your deep voice

Inspirational remarks by Robert Carroll, MD, from his workshops on The Wisdom of Your Deep Voice through Writing: Turning Your Inside Out, August 2013.

Smell is our most primitive and most finely tuned sensory modality.  Remembering smells evokes memories and images of our early lives like the smell of cooking in our family’s kitchen or the smell of freshly mowed grass in the back yard.

In my experience people bring a more open and inquiring stance to writing groups than to therapy groups because therapy groups are based on the notion that there’s something going on inside people that’s wrong that needs to be made right.  Writing takes the point of view that what’s right is inside of you.  Let’s hear it.  This is the news.  But men and women die miserably every day for lack of what’s found there.

The unconscious is built into your writing.  Six months later you may take your piece out and say, “Oh that’s what I meant.”  That’s another reason you don’t want to edit too much.

In answer to the question, “Where can you find other prompts that inspire you to write?”:  As you read poems or hear others read their poems, circle what jumps out at you.  Those will be your prompts.  Poetry is everywhere.

We store the sensations in our own somatosensory part of our brain.Poetry encodes experience.  When you unlock it and read it, the response is that it all comes flooding back.

In hearing a piece a few times, different words may stand out to you.  What each of us resonates with may be different.

Line breaks are for effect.That’s the way we talk.  Speaking is sculpted.  It’s not just one word after the next, like muzak.

Training in poetry therapy teaches you how to select which poems for which purposes.

Writing from your mind’s eye is when what you see outside triggers something that you recollect inward.

If you feel like you have writer’s block,  write what you see.  If you feel like you need to go into a deeper voice, do some deep breathing.Writer’s block is science fiction.Anyone can write anytime.  All you have to do it make a list of what you see, hear, smell, taste or feel with your fingers.

A good way to facilitate changing your state of mind:  Take the index finger of your left hand and put it in your left ear and hum.When you block out air conduction, you hear by bone conduction.  The blocked ear hears by bone conduction.  Plug both of your ears and hum with three deep breaths.