My New Office and New Workshops

Here I am again with the where-with-all to write you all, so I'll thank All The Saints, since it's their day!

Welcome to new readers. I've started this polite and infrequent newsletter less than a year ago when I brought my art therapy practice to Burlington, Ontario.

I'm pleased to announce that I'm in my own office suite now, a nice location, where I can see individuals and groups. Next week, I'll be inaugurating the waiting room with a first group, Zoom Two starting in a week (full).

I'm also announcing a repeat of Zoom Within in the New Year--I've tried to find a time more amenable to the work week, but it won't be often that I am able to do so. We'll be meeting six consecutive weeks on friday evenings, with a dinner option afterwards. I think this may fill quickly, so please write me soon if this appeals, and do spread the word. This will be my fourth time offering this series in Burlington, where I have seen adults take off with the creative prompts I have designed. No experience/ talent required, just creativity and curiosity.

A little more information on my new office: As you may see from my door, I'm sharing the place with Dr. Procter, a well loved family physician who has been working out of this very suite for over 50 years! He has moved his practice to the new MacMaster Family Health Centre behind the hospital. His office staff stays on to finish the task of scanning all his paper files. When this is done, I will be working out of the whole suite, and my intention is to bring together a like minded team of professionals to have a creative arts therapies clinic for Burlington, alongside Accent Music Therapy, who have been so friendly to me on my arrival here. I have room enough for a few of us, and my team is constellating. I'm located in a good spot: easy to get to, easy parking, one stair case, and it feels like a hidden secret inside. Come see! I'll have an opening party once I've spiffed it up. To be announced.

At this point much more spiffing up to do, as I've merely piled boxes in a few of the rooms that I shan't let you see. Meanwhile, however, good things are happening in my consultation room/ pocket art studio. I am seeing a growing number of children, adolescents, and adults who come to explore the arts and healing with different starting points that I'd say are all felt as a painful stuckness. I am glad to be collaborating with concerned and loving families as we think about the changes that can be made around young people to help them develop a strong internal composure. And with my patients of all ages, art is being spun from fantasy, and I'm right there, connecting art and life.

As some of you know, Burlington is where I grew up. After half my life away, I've returned with what I've learned. Art therapy is a powerful way to connect us to who we are, and art therapists are well trained to support the difficult aspects of this inner work--growing up, connecting, grieving, forgiving, loving... Art therapists are also there to spot the subtle, unspoken parts of us that are forgotten or overlooked by even our intimates, even ourselves. Do you know what a breakthrough looks like? I may refine this thought, but right now I can't think of a time that I have not been struck by the beauty of what emerges, soft and still young, from a rarely unlocked gate deep inside (our unconscious). This too is the work of the art therapist: to behold that beauty, to invite these vulnerable parts of us to get worked into to the overall masterpiece that we are.

I do hope to have more workshops in the new year: for young people, for parents, for parent-child combos. I'm getting settled, and taking requests!

I'm writing more than I myself would read in someone else's a newsletter, but I'll push it and add one last plug for The Art Of Self-Care in the Workplace workshop series I developed and delivered with a colleague, finishing just yesterday at a wonderful public agency in Peel. These workshops are for hardworking teachers, nurses, doctors, therapists, counsellors, and others in service. We would like to offer this group in the workplace, or chez nous in the future. If you are interested, let me know.

Enjoy the last of the fall colours, and the extra hour as we 'fall back,'

Sarah Brodie

PS. My name to come on the door below!