The Therapeutic Expressive Arts Summit at the Los Angeles Hilton was a very unique and creative event! The conference entailed 4 days of workshops that allowed for psychologists, counselors, therapists and creatives from all over the United States to explore new ways of helping their clients. As volunteers, we were assigned the task of setting up and organizing materials for each presenter based on what mediums he or she was presenting. Then we distributed the supplies to every presenter and collected them back up when he or she was finished with them. The person we reported to was challenging to work with and I decided to only volunteer one day.

We were able to go to one day of the conference and sit in on the workshops for every day we volunteered. The workshop that we found particularly interesting was called Making Messy Art: The Power of Paint and Collage for All Ages, Abilities & Settings by Anna Reyner, ATR, LMFT. This workshop focused on the creative expression that could be achieved by playing with various mediums such as paint, pastels, bubbles, shaving cream and other art mediums. The importance of the sensory influence and the neurology behind the messy play was discussed and how they could depict and encourage emotional and verbal expression.

Overall, the Therapeutic Expressive Arts Summit was very interesting and we learned a lot.  In the future, we would like to attend the conference, rather than volunteer at it, in order to soak up as much information as we can for us as future clinicians and for our future clients’ benefit.

– Caitlin Lee, Life’s Toolbox MSOT Intern