2017 Symposium Keynote Lecture & Workshop



Keynote Address ~ Friday, September 22, 2017 ~ 1:00-2:30 pm

Art Therapy Practices Instigate Change: Memory Reconsolidation, Creativity and Positivity      

This key note address will discuss the neuroscience of how memories are maintained and altered. It is well known that personal vivid memories which are encoded into long-term memory, can disrupt or enhance the individual’s autobiographical sense of self and consequently their daily life, relationships, and future. Yet a dynamic model of memory consolidation suggests when retrieving memories there is an opportunity to change them under specific conditions. In fact, as people recall memories some of the neurochemicals that bind them are loosened, making the old memories unstable and pliable. Furthermore, studies suggest that within a brief period, updating fear-based memories with non-fearful information, novelty, optimism and appreciation of beauty and creativity likely leads to a permanent reduction in learned fear-responding, and a lasting change in the original fear memory. This information provides a theoretical foundation for an art therapy theory of change and suggests arts-based practices which will be illustrated by the presenter.


Keynote Workshop ~ Saturday, September, 2017 ~ 9:00-11:00 am



Interpersonal Touch and Space: An Attachment and Diversity Sensitive Intervention.

Art mediated intra-interpersonal touch and space (AMITS) interventions serve as a gateway to mental representations of remembered attachment experience. This is because touch is a fundamental human form of interpersonal connectivity and provides one of the most emotional of our sensory experiences. Touch activates brain areas responsible for the cognitive spatial and bodily processing of sensory information stimulating memories based on environmental, bodily, and psychological experiences. In fact, both physical and symbolic interpersonal haptic experiences inform our sense of interpersonal space and active the associated reward and bonding neurochemicals. Participants in this workshops will learn how to use a crafts and arts attachment based cloth intervention. We will be working with felt (please bring with you a pair of good scissors).   



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