Dianne Shannon Art Therapy


“I notice there is no land.”

This first-hand account of participating in group art therapy while incarcerated is a great description of a group process. Author Harold Moser’s comment “Who thought so much could come from one little crayon drawing?” perfectly describes the surprise when insights arise unexpectedly through the art and create shifts in perception.

This isn’t art class

I often hear support workers say “have a fun class!” when they bring youth for their art therapy session. Confusing art therapy for art lessons is a common misconception but it’s important to learn the difference. The youth who come to my studio have been through more than anyone should have to in a lifetime much less by the time they are 8, or 13, or 17. Their creations help them process traumatic experiences and develop resiliency. Check out this post from the Art as Therapy blog that clearly compares art therapy vs making art…

’60s Scoop art project

The Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery in Winnipeg has brought together 24 Indigenous artists for an art project about the experiences of youth adopted or placed in care between the 60s and 80s.

Why art therapy works for teens

The article at the link below describes how art therapy can reach teens…in ways talk therapy may not…by creating connections despite their defenses and providing visual and physical ways to express feelings that are difficult to talk about.  When practicing art therapy with teens, I’m reminded of an Edwin Markham poem:

He drew a circle that shut me out-Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had wit to win: we drew a circle that took him in.

Lebanese practitioners learn art therapy to provide supports for refugee children

Children express trauma in a variety of ways; withdrawal, hyperactivity, aggression. Syrian children now living in Lebanon are processing their experiences through art therapy thanks to practitioners who travelled abroad to receive training.

Art therapy group reaches students who might not otherwise reach out for help

College counsellors created an art therapy group with different  activities each week that help students reduce stress, explore self-identity, and build community.

Death row art

The artmaking of prisoners on death row raises awareness of many human justice issues while providing prisoners…in their words…therapy, penance, and for one man who was exonerated after 22 years on death row-a lifeline.

Monster crayons

A creative fundraiser inspired by art therapy hopes to provide ongoing funding for services that support children who’ve experienced trauma or abuse. 

Portraits offer a glimpse into the experiences of Saskatchewan immigrants

The Art Gallery of Regina is featuring an exhibition organized by Common Weal Community Arts that shares the perspectives of people new to living in Saskatchewan.

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