fairy houses

Tomorrow I will be attending my first ever BCATA conference and AGM. While not my first conference, it will be the first conference I attend within the field of art therapy, and I’m seriously excited to see what it has to offer and what exactly an art therapy conference even looks like!

There are a handful of really interesting looking workshops going on — including one that involves play therapy, and at least two on creative and arts journalling — as well as some atypical events that look promising. In particular, I’m really looking forward to checking out the book and art directive exchange.

In recognition and preparation of that, I’m posting another art directive I ran with my cohort. This time around, it’s a directive I implemented in our studio class this past spring. The directive combined two of my great loves: creating using natural and found objects, and trauma informed practice.

My own fairy house has since decomposed, but here’s the brief handout I created for my cohort.

fairy gardens 1

One of the main inspirations for this directive came from the “Weaving Our Voices” facilitator handbook; an open group manual designed by two mental health professionals in Ontario, for women who had experienced childhood sexual abuse. Many of their own directives focused on creating safe spaces and facilitating self-care for the women involved, which really resonated with me.

Combined with my love of gathering natural objects and some of the work by John Zelenski (a former professor of mine and advocate for the importance of nature-relatedness), it’s a magical way to envision a safe space and make it tangible.

fairy gardens 2

The results were a magical, safe haven you could put on a shelf or take with you on your journeys; were you could return time and time again, transported to a calm oasis.

And bonus — the materials were totally free and almost one hundred percent biodegradable!

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