Posts Tagged ‘art therapy’

“Talking vs doing.” ~ Doc Meek

Wednesday, February 9, 2011. Today I am grateful for my colleague Corry Roach and her pioneering work using Therapeutic Art Methods. When I am helping children (or adults) overcome learning, behavioral, or emotional difficulties, I focus on the “head” and she focuses on the “heart.” The kids call her “the feelings lady.”

“A registered nurse for more than thirty five years, Corry Roach continues to practise the therapy she pioneered as a result of her healing journey after her daughter Lindsay’s death.”

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Corry Roach once asked me if she should accept an invitation from a post-secondary institution to teach a course on her speciality: Therapeutic Art Methods. I suggested she ask the institution: “Do you want me to talk about my psychotherapeutic practice or do you want me to do my Therapeutic Art Methods (invite  your students to experience my psychotherapeutic work for themselves, by actually doing it or trying it out in class)?

They wanted her to just talk about her Therapeutic Art Methods, NOT engage the students with the rich experience itself. She declined that particular assignment. Corry is clear: “You have to experience it to appreciate and understand it.”

I recently emailed Corry about a student who is taking an art therapy class. I asked Corry if I could refer this student to her so that the student could learn invaluable aspects of art therapy from her also. Here is Corry’s response:

“Collins, I am not an art therapist, per se. I am a nurse specializing in Therapeutic Art Methods, and I have integrated this with adjuncts into a pioneered practise of psychotherapy. The adjuncts are NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming), Therapeutic Touch, Senoi Indian Dream work, Jungian dream work, resonance in music therapy, the analysis of fairy tales, and psychodrama. As well, I use the work of the late Elisabeth Kubler Ross, M.D., in externalization work [helping the clients experience their deepest feelings/experiences by bringing them into conscious awareness].

“I was informed by my professional nursing association in 1986 that I was functioning at a doctorate level, but when one does pioneered work, there remain no degrees or letters behind one’s name. I have left it so by choice, although I’ve taught MDs, PhDs, social workers, nurses and teachers, as well as in institutions of learning (University of Alberta, Grant McEwan University, Red Deer College, Children’s hospital in Calgary).

“The difference between art therapy and my work of Therapeutic Art Methods is the analysis of the unconscious content in spontaneous drawings, which is also where the experiential adjuncts apply, i.e the picture work [created by the client on the spot] identifies the client’s issues, and the adjuncts are modalities that assist in the “working it through” of those issues. Together, they  form a powerful healing tool that transcends boundaries [usually] found in other forms of therapy and healing work. Preverbal children and aphasics (those unable to speak) may also benefit. Historically, I have found it immensely rewarding through my work with dying patients and their families, children and those seeking support on their spiritual healing journey.

“Art therapists have told me many times that my work goes much deeper than art therapy, and from my experience of both modalities academically and experientially, I must agree this is so.

“I am delighted your [student] is taking the St Stephen’s [art therapy] program, as Dr Leslie Gardner teaches there and is a dear friend for many years, and is very familiar with my work. You may also wish to direct her to for more information on my work in the field of grief resolution. It is coming to my attention more these days that I should perhaps elaborate on my drawing therapy work [Therapeutic Art Methods] on the website.” ……………………………………………………………………………………..

Thank you, Corry Roach, for your pioneering work using Therapeutic Art Methods and its adjuncts, which has healed the hearts of a multitude of children (and adults)!

Doc Meek, Wednesday, February 9, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

P.S. Below are the front and back covers of the book entitled By Grace of Mourning, authored by Corry Roach:

ByGraceOfMourningFrontCover.jpg ByGraceOfMourningFrontCover.jpg
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ByGraceOfMourningBackCover.jpg ByGraceOfMourningBackCover.jpg
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