The Art Therapy Institute of the Redwoods

Located approximately 2 hours north of San Francisco in a tranquil setting, The Art Therapy Institute of the Redwoods has been offering workshops and courses for art therapy professionals as well as other health care and service provider professionals since 1992. Our workshops are limited to ten participants in order to provide ample opportunities for interaction. While most programs are held in Redwood Valley, a few are held at other venues.

On these pages you will find not only course offerings and schedules, but useful resources and articles.

We encourage you to explore our pages and contact us with questions or suggestions.


It's the Little Things

In this fast paced world, taking time to do small things often proves worthwhile in the clinical setting.

For example, noticeable are the surprised and pleased reactions of children and teens when they discover that before I place their art in their portfolio, I write their name, the date, and a few words about the art on each drawing.

Similarly, having their individual portfolio in the studio when they arrive has resulted in more than one child stating, “You didn’t forget my art or me.” Having preferred snacks, art media, or tools mentioned at the previous session has elicited similar responses.

A useful method of creating and maintaining a connection is noticing and making a very brief comment rather than asking questions. For example, a teen arrived yesterday with newly designed fingernail paint. Knowing this is important to her, I commented that her new nail design was very artistic. She answered, “Nobody notices and I work hard at it.” Brief noticing is often a conversation starter.

Lastly, the predictable and repetitive environment affects the child’s feelings of comfort and safety. The studio is free of clutter and is a low stimulus environment. We always sit in the same place, begin with the same warm-up art activity, and end the session in the same way. The structure of the environment provides the boundaries, safety, containment, and predictability the clients often lack.

© Copyright 2009-2016 Linda Chapman.

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