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Southern Gazette (Victoria Park) - - Front Page -­mu­ni­ d474634

Art ther­a­pist Dianne Smith is invit­ing the pub­lic to a se­ries of work­shops to find new ways of look­ing at is­sues in their lives.

VIC­TO­RIA Park res­i­dent Dianne Smith wants to show the pub­lic how art ther­apy can help them over­come trauma and other is­sues in their lives.

The art ther­a­pist is hold­ing a se­ries of work­shops at the Vic­to­ria Park Cen­tre for the Arts dur­ing Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber along­side coun­sel­lor Joyce de Haan.

Ms Smith said the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple who at­tended her ses­sions were women but it was open to men as well.

“Art ther­apy can be great for men, who aren’t al­ways as good at open­ing up,” she said.

“The ses­sions al­low peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity see things in new ways.

‘The medium at each comes from ex­plor­ing dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als and de­pends on peo­ple’s sit­u­a­tions but could in­clude clay, paint, pas­tels and body move­ment.

“Some of the peo­ple may be deal­ing with de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety or deal­ing with an ill­ness such as can­cer and this al­lows them to ex­plore their sit­u­a­tion and come up with a new strat­egy.”

Ms Smith trav­elled to the Euro­pean Arts Ther­a­pies Con­fer­ence in Poland dur­ing 2017, which in­volved prac­ti­tion­ers and aca­demics from 33 coun­tries.

“They hold the con­fer­ence each year but peo­ple from Amer­ica, Canada and Aus­tralia go a long as well.

“There are aca­demic pa­pers dis­cussed and work­shops held and you can see what’s hap­pen­ing in the art ther­apy sphere.

“I pre­sented a pa­per about the role of the built en­vi­ron­men­tal can have for art ther­apy, peo­ple of­ten think about im­prov­ing their home for re­sale and not be­cause it can im­prove the qual­ity of their en­vi­ron­ment.”

Ms Smith said art ther­apy was some­thing that had come into her life in re­cent years after study­ing transper­sonal art ther­apy at the IKON In­sti­tute in Vic­to­ria Park.

“It’s an in­ter­est­ing pro­fes­sion be­cause you are help­ing peo­ple set goals after liv­ing with de­pres­sion or if they go­ing through a re­la­tion­ship break­down or other is­sues.”

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d474634

Art ther­a­pist Dianne Smith.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Art ther­a­pist Dianne Smith.

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