B.A., The Evergreen State College, 1982
Latest Publication Title
Square the Circle: Art Therapy Workbook
Square the Circle: Art Therapy Workbook features easy-to-use mandala coloring sheets and activities. Drawing on fifteen years of experience, Rebecca Bloom has brought together the very best of the art directives she created to help Adults, Teens and Children address Anxiety, Depression and PTSD. For many people it is difficult to formulate their problems with words; this book will show you how image-making allows more of the story to come out by letting go of focusing only on verbal processing. Much of the current Neuroscience research shows us that trauma is often experienced and stored in the body. These exercises are specifically designed to safely allow the body to tell its story. By taking time to fill in the heart image, we get to know ourselves from the inside out, instead of letting the outside world constrain what our experience is. There is no right or wrong answer; the creative process allows for tremendous complexity.
No art experience is necessary to use this book. Using the eight limbs of yoga as a guide, there are two important principals that creativity can help you explore. The first is to practice non-violence toward yourself - Ahimsa. In art therapy, the concept of process over product is often talked about. When art is made to be sold, the product is the most important thing, but when art is made for personal exploration and self-discovery, the process is what counts. The final images don’t need to be pretty or even make sense, they just have to be true and hopefully allow for more discussion to arise. The second yoga concept is Dharana, to allow yourself the time and space for inner awareness. This book is full of surprisingly simple prompts that will allow the mind to quiet and focus--the internal dialogue can quiet and with that focus, surprising clarity can be revealed. Using this concept of mindfulness as a powerful centering technique, we can begin to allow old stories to be told in new ways, to connect with the knowing artist that lives within all of us.
When using these exercises alone or in individual counseling, it’s wonderful to take some distance and really look at the image before processing. When using these in groups, it’s wonderful to see how each individual uses their creation: no two will be the same. With humor and compassion, tap into your creativity and see what happens when you make marks on the page.
How did Evergreen help you in your career?
At Evergreen I learned how to listen to my creativity and how to keep asking questions of my self and of the world. Also, I learned that it's okay to mess up and try again.