“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are” e.e. cummings. Denise Wolf has worked with children and adolescents for over 15 years, bearing witness to many courageous journeys in her work as a therapist. In addition to private practice, Denise works as a consultant for a residential treatment facility for adolescents providing Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) training, facilitating DBT skills groups for adolescents and their caregivers. Prior to that, Denise worked as a primary therapist at this facility, providing individual therapy, family therapy, DBT skills group, and psychoeducation groups for the school setting. Additionally, Denise works as an adjunct educator at Drexel University in the Art Therapy and Counseling Program. Denise is a practicing DBT clinician, with a strong trauma informed background. Areas of strength include application of the evidenced based practices, DBT and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), integration of mindfulness practices to foster emotion regulation, provision of school based services, work with adolescents, facilitation of groups and group dynamics, and working within systems.
Please share and consider attending. This distinction between therapeutic and therapy is an important one. It helps us all maintain our scope of practice, ethical integrity, and ensure safety for those we serve. I can’t talk about this without also talking about my mentor Ron Hays, who had many discussions about the ‘ic” and the “eeey”: therapeutIC and therapY
This quarter, I had the honor of teaching a course in Drexel’s graduate art therapy program, Media, Materials, and Processes in Art Therapy. This course identified practices in art therapy explored through the direct experience of art making with a range of art materials and processes in studio, seminar, and group-based formats. An emphasis on treatment approaches through expanded media palettes was established through experiential, reflective discussions, and written and art-based integrated learning, with focus of connecting treatment approaches and goals to the Expressive Therapies Continuum.
As a culminating project, the students collectively decided on creating a class blog, including their reflective journaling along side their directed art engagements. They decided on using the tagging inherent in blogging formatting so that the site is easily searchable, as an ongoing reference for art therapist media selection to meet the diverse needs of the clients we serve.
I am so proud of their insightful and thorough explorations. I urge you to visit the class blog.
The Light After Trauma welcomed me back with my colleague Juliet King, to discuss the science and validity behind art therapy as well as the incredible uses of art therapy in treating trauma. Listen to it here:
Cool Jobs shows young teens amazing, attainable career options. COOL JOBS is a 3-day pop-up expo, with original funding from the James L. and John S. Knight Foundation, bringing successful working artists, chefs, artisans, art therapists, photographers, designers, and digital printers, and makers together in one place to demonstrate their work to creative teens. We invite students from Philly, Chester, Norristown and Camden low-income public schools to learn what a typical day is like for someone working in a creative field.
This year the Cool Jobs expo took place fully online. Check out this video to learn more about what an art therapist does.
Parent/Caregiver tip for parenting the strong-willed child. Don’t forget to breathe, deep breaths calm our stress response systems and help to co-regulate. Try the “deep-dive” breath: This is a kundalini yoga breath practice and visualization. Inhale for four counts, hold for four, and exhale slowly for four counts. You can increase the holding of breath by a few seconds once you find the rhythm of the exercise. As you rhythmically find this breath, each time you inhale imagine diving deeper into a pool of blue water. As you complete your last breath and exhale, imagine yourself floating to the surface, renewed and ready.
Desautels, L. (2021). Connections over compliance: Rewiring our perceptions of discipline. Wyatt-Mackenzie publishing.
Take a listen to this Podcast, Light After Trauma. Myself and my colleague, Attorney Shea Rhodes were guests. We discussed a topicc near and dear to my heart, the impact of trauma on police officers and public servants. Listen here