Creative Arts Therapies and Neuroscience

February 1-2, 2025

Exploring the Palette of Creative/Expressive Arts Therapies through the Lens of Neuroscience

The creative/expressive arts therapies engage the brain on multiple layers, fostering resilience and well-being. This section brings light on the relationship between artistic expression and neuroscience, offering insights into the profound connection between the neuroscientific theories and the creative arts therapy practices.
This conference section explores the intersection of neuroscience and creative arts therapies, unveiling the neural intricacies behind the therapeutic impact of creative expression. The presentations will focus on various connections between theory and practices in these two domains. The section will embrace research in art therapy utilizing neuroimaging techniques, in exploring how arts therapies activate brain regions linked to emotional regulation, offering a pathway to reduce anxiety and enhance emotional well-being through creative engagement. Also, the potential of art therapy to promote neuroplasticity is explored, showcasing how the creative process stimulates the growth of neurons and fortifies neural pathways, facilitating the development of adaptive behaviors and improved cognitive functions. Thirdly, the integration of mindfulness practices within art therapy is examined, highlighting the enhancement of attention and stress reduction through neuroscientifically validated structural and functional brain changes. Other presentations will explore the activation of mirror neurons in group art therapy settings, emphasizing its role in fostering empathy, social bonding, and a profound sense of connection. In conclusion, this synthesis of art therapy and neuroscience underscores the potency of creativity and self-expression that not only promotes emotional regulation and neuroplasticity but also enhances attention and empathy.
Utilizing the lens of neuroscience, experts seek to unravel the mechanisms by which engaging in art can influence brain function, emotional regulation, and cognitive processes.

Navigating the Shadows

February 8-9, 2025

Working with Grief, Death, and Loss

Participants will gain insights into the therapeutic techniques and approaches tailored to help clients confront existential anxieties, grapple with the realities of palliative care, cancer diagnoses, incurable medical conditions, and the end of life.
This section delves into the profound and multifaceted aspects of working with these experiences. Creative arts therapies offer a unique avenue for individuals to express and process complex emotions surrounding grief, death, and loss. Within this framework, art therapists can explore themes of existential anxiety, helping clients confront and make meaning of mortality and the unknown. Furthermore, creative arts therapies can be invaluable in palliative care settings, providing a means for patients with incurable medical conditions, including cancer, to find solace, express their feelings, and connect with their inner resources. As end-of-life approaches, the creative therapies serves as a compassionate companion, facilitating reflection, reconciliation, and the cultivation of legacy. Through creative expression, clients can navigate the shadows of grief, death, and loss, finding healing, resilience, and even moments of beauty amidst the darkness.
Through the lens of art therapy, attendees will learn how creative expression becomes a powerful tool for healing, meaning-making, and resilience amidst profound sorrow. This section promises to illuminate the path for art therapists to accompany clients on their journey through the shadows, fostering growth, acceptance, and transformation in the face of profound loss.

Materials and Techniques in Art Therapy

February 15-16, 2025

New Frontiers in Using Materials and Techniques in Art Therapy

The integration of novel materials and techniques and finding new therapeutic meanings in traditional artistic modalities is the goal of this section.
This dedicated section is designed to delve into the expansive realm of materials and techniques that elevate the practice of art therapy. The focus is on the versatility offered by a spectrum of materials, from traditional to avant-garde.
Speakers are encouraged to bring in engaging workshops, creating a dynamic space for the exchange of ideas and experiences.
Whether delving into time-tested artistic techniques employing various materials or exploring innovative approaches, this section invites attendees to discover, discuss, and embrace the evolving landscape of materials and techniques in the transformative field of art therapy and at its frontier with the other creative arts therapies..

Mind-Body Approaches

February 8-9, 2025

Mind-Body Practices Redefining the Canvas of Art Therapy

Researchers and practitioners will discuss how bodily experiences impact emotional processing, cognitive function, and psychological resilience. With a holistic approach, these theories and practices aim to deepen understanding of mind-body connection. Presentations will spotlight theories and practices involving mindfulness, creativity, somatic practices, and mentalization in art therapy, promoting self-expression, emotional healing, and resilience.
This conference section explore the theory and practices involving a mind-body connection within the context of creative arts therapies. Researchers and practitioners converge to discuss the profound impact of bodily experiences on emotional processing, cognitive function, and overall psychological resilience.
Through a holistic lens that integrates both the physiological and psychological aspects, this conference section fosters a deeper understanding of how the body and mind coalesce in the transformative journey of creative arts therapies. Theories and practices mixing mindfulness with creativity, somatic practices, mentalisation, and other practices will be explored.
The presentations will focus on holistic models of involving the integration of mind, body, and spirit; and/or recognizing this interconnectedness. The speakers will bring in theories and practices on the creative process during art therapy involving mindfulness, mindfulness and relaxation, inspiring people to be present in the moment and focus their attention on the creative process., somatic practices, integrating unlocking self-expression, promoting emotional healing, cultivating mindfulness, and resilience.
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