Lisa Mitchell

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Art is the Ultimate Coping Tool

Sep 22, 2016 | 3 comments

Book Signing--Northern California Art Therapy Association Conference 2016

Scene 1

It’s been a fact-filled, inspiration laden day.  It’s 5:00pm on this beautiful Bay Area weather Saturday and I try to put a spring in my step despite the heavy box of books I hold from Routledge Publishing.  I’m carrying the box, but I’m also carrying my pride.  My books, their stunning covers, all blue and orange and bright, are piled inside their shipping container like a collection of 1st prize swim meet ribbons.  I find the reception room and get directions to the book signing tables.  I make my way through the art therapy conference attendees, past the silent auction items, and find my destination.  As I approach, I notice there is no room at the tables.  My box gets heavier as I scan the books laid out for display.  I am a newbie here, to this scene, and I fight the temptation to turn around and leave.  Instead I carry a tiptoe version of my pride over to the nearest table.  There, our conference keynote, Linda Chapman, has her book, Neurobiologically Informed Trauma Therapy with Children and Adolescents stacked in beautiful towers that cover the table.  They look solid and legitimate in their hardbound, science-referenced covers. I take a deep breath after introducing myself and ask, “Is there room for me here?”  She and her assistant make room, and we spend the rest of the evening sidled up to our books, talking to colleagues, and representing different essential elements of our profession. Read More… »

What the Balinese do for anxiety.

Aug 18, 2016 | 7 comments

My 2 week writing retreat in Bali with Laura Davis was an adventure, a vacation, and a profound education. I’m certain I will have many things to share as my experience becomes more integrated. But one big take away from Bali cries out to be told, honored, and even implemented here in the States.

The Balinese practice Bali Hinduism which is a unique mix of Hinduism and Buddhism. They bring strong beliefs in animism and naturism to their daily practices and make it a priority to relate to all things and beings as one. The Balinese are stunningly beautiful people. Their faces aren’t pinched with worry. Their attention isn’t a mile ahead or on what’s next. They are engaged in the moment and their wrinkles are smile lines and crows’ feet mixed with the evidence of living in nature—fully, every day. Yes, the Balinese have struggles. I heard stories of domestic violence, gambling addiction, conflict between tradition and contemporary values, and inhumane treatment of the mentally ill. But, their daily offerings practice gives me ideas about what’s missing in our culture when it comes to coping with anxiety. Read More… »

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