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Dianne Shannon Art Therapy

RCAT #223-R-17 MA

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dianneshannonarttherapy

Autism, kids, and art therapy

Kids with autism often have strengths in the areas of non-verbal reasoning, creativity, imagination, and spatial relations. They can tap into these strengths through art therapy while being supported in other areas such as communication, social skills, motor skills, and self-regulation. Saskatchewan art therapists have submitted a request for the province’s Autism Services Saskatchewan to approve art therapy as a service for families who use Individualized Funding for supports. Approval would mean families could contact Saskatchewan art therapists directly for their child or youth to benefit from art therapy. Check out the documents below that were included in the submission with examples of children with autism who participated in art therapy as well as art therapy and autism research and publications.

Do you want art therapy to be an approved service for a child or youth you know with autism? You can show your support by emailing autismregistry@health.gov.sk.ca by the end of October 2022.

Suicide prevention for children and youth

The ASK workshop for assessing suicide in children and youth aged 5-14 years just wrapped up. Thanks to ABK Wellness for an informative and relevant workshop that covered topics such as warning flags, protective factors, coping styles, and approaches for having conversations about suicide with young people and families. Even though death by suicide among youth under 14 years of age is not common – 46 were recorded in 2018* – suicide is on the minds of many young people who come to art therapy and, understandably, a very big concern for their families. The ASK workshop provided me with additional tools and information to better support young people and their families when suicide is a concern.

For more information about the workshop visit: https://www.abkwellness.ca/assessing-suicide-in-kids

*For more information about youth and suicide visit: https://www.suicideinfo.ca/resource/children-and-suicide/

In response to people of all ages who I’ve met and are at risk of suicide, I designed a business-card-size safety plan to be easily available – for example in a pocket or wallet – when someone has thoughts of suicide. You’re welcome to download and print the card for anyone who might benefit from having a reminder of personal resources and 24/7 help lines close at hand: https://dianneshannonarttherapy.ca/resources/

Addiction studies done!

Just received marks for my final class of Mount Royal University’s Addiction Studies Extension Certificate. I took this program to better support the many individuals who come to art therapy and have experienced some aspect of addiction. The six online classes covered topics such as the effects of addictions on individuals, youth, families, and the brain as well as concurrent disorders and treatment.

Something I’ve noticed over the years is that there doesn’t seem to be enough support for youth who have an addicted parent, so I’m pleased to pass along a link that was shared in class to a guide produced by Starlings in Calgary:

Cancer and art therapy

Many friends and family over the past few years have been confronted with a cancer diagnosis and treatment, so I decided to go through the American Art Therapy Association’s outcomes-based research bibliography for information about art therapy’s efficacy for cancer patients. The articles I found are listed in the attached pdf file for those of you who are also interested. A Google search of “cancer and art therapy” will also bring up many, many examples of art therapy in cancer treatment.

https://www.swedish.org/services/cancer-institute/our-services/complementary-therapies/art-therapy https://www.lbbc.org/blog/why-art-therapy-such-powerful-tool

AATA outcomes-based research bibliography: Cancer and art therapy (pdf)

COVID-19 update

Rising numbers of COVID-19 cases this fall mean that in addition to being fully vaccinated, I’ll be taking the following precautions in my office:

  • Masks are required in the common areas of the building and are recommended in my office space
  • If your child is comfortable wearing a mask they are encouraged to do so  
  • I clean surfaces and any shared art supplies between client sessions
  • My office space has an air purifier with a HEPA filter  

Thank you to everyone who is comfortable wearing a mask during sessions. If this is a concern, please give me a call to discuss how we might be able to accommodate your needs.

Welcome to the new space

After more than a year of outreach and online sessions, I’m looking forward to seeing clients at 107-2366 Avenue C North for in-person sessions. What a wonderful feeling to see the supplies and tools I packed away months ago…sand tray and figures, puppets, odd bits of metal, felt, wood, clay, paint and more! Call or email if you’d like to take a look and discuss how art therapy might be helpful for you or someone you know.

Spring classes at the Refinery

There are a few spaces left for two art therapy classes I’m facilitating at the Refinery in Saskatoon. Explore grief and loss through Wolfeldt’s Ten Essential Touchstones over four sessions in May and June. Or try the one-day workshop in June called Growing the Good and discover personal resources to help you in difficult situations. Check out these and other Refinery class offerings: http://www.emmanuelrefinery.org/classes

Healing with virtual art therapy

Canadian Institute for Art Therapy co-founder Michelle Winkel describes how art therapy is adapting for online delivery during the pandemic…https://www.cbc.ca/arts/pandemic-blues-online-art-therapy-might-help-you-work-through-your-feelings-1.5826652

Art making for online video sessions

Ok, so you’ve seen the post that I offer online video art therapy sessions, but are you wondering what it would be like to make art at home for an online session? To begin, you don’t need special art materials – anything on hand can be used. For example, look around you right now. What catches your eye? Below are “before” and “after” examples of what making art at home for your video art therapy session might look like.

Bits left over from cutting out paper snowflakes and the back of a mouse pad
Recycled packaging and toys
Advertising mail, a newspaper, scissors, and glue stick
Pencil, pencil shavings, and printer paper

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