Again this year, I had a wonderful experience teaching the November module on psychopathology at the International Program of Art therapy of Thailand (IPATT) and again, I left to go home not having had enough of it all! Being in Bangkok is a mesmerizing experience in itself and this year, I even visited 3 art Galleries!
For the 12 days teaching in the module, I felt that I had reached a satisfying balance between theories and studio work. Professors say that it takes three time to achieve real satisfaction in teaching a specific class and that was indeed the third time I taught this module. I feel that beyond the content as such, this is again an occasion to give students the best of what I learned from more than 35 years of experience as an art psychotherapist. And as such, it is very satisfying.
The group was somewhat of a challenge, since there were students who were attending their first module and had even their very first encounter with art therapy and others who were more knowledgeable about art therapy or psychology. But as always, students were respectful and supportive of each others. It is always a pleasure to teach to you, Thai people, and I hope I will teach the module again next year and many more years to come.
Again this year, I gave a workshop on Somatic art therapy, a 6-days intensive. I was assisted by Dr. Jo and by IPATT student Pattra Chenchomlada, as I felt it was time to give to IPATT students an occasion to do a practicum in this workshop, which I intend to give each year. Think about this possibility, IPATT students, for next year…
Many healings happened in this workshop. The most impressive intervention of all was performed by Dr. Jo herself, who created a healing metaphor for a student to work on her chronic pains. We could feel in the next room that something special was happening; their working space felt like an operating room! I was so impressed that I asked Dr. Jo to write about this experience for my book on Somatic art therapy to be published next fall at Routledge.
But this year, I must say that the most profound experience for me was felt in this new 2-days workshop I offered on Traumas and art therapy, again assisted by Dr. Jo. We worked on art therapy protocols used in trauma related work and of course, each student experimented these Protocols on their own difficult or traumatic experiences. Many of them had occasions to revisit strong hurtful experiences and to begin to come to term with them. As you know, we sometimes need to revisit a traumatic experience many times before it doesn’t affect us anymore : 17 to 21 times, my art therapy teachers use to say, before new neuronal pathways can be created! I was deeply moved by the student’s openness to share their experiences and the profound humanity of what they shared and healed.
I left this time feeling like I was leaving my family and my home behind! Dr. Jo, IPATT, the students and Bangkok are becoming a part of my own family more and more every year.
I also felt again like I didn’t have enough time to visit Bangkok, and I promised myself I will visit again next year. One of the most meaningful moment in Bangkok was in this very special temple, the Wat Ratchapatdaram, recommended by Atapol, Dr. Jo’s husband, one in four that exists in the world, in which there was 7 floors, with wisdom sentences from the Buddha on each floor…up to the Nirvana.
In those very trying times, take care of yourself, my friends and family of Bangkok! And take care, friends from CIIAT who make this adventure possible for Thai students and for teachers from Québec and Canada! Thank you so much everyone for such a meaningful experience.